Free roaming cattle creating problems in Rio Rancho

Posted at: 07/17/2013 7:53 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A problem straight out of the old Wild West is troubling a Rio Rancho neighborhood these days – free range cattle.

Trouble is, these cows take the “free” part of free range pretty seriously. They come and go as they please in the North Hills subdivision, leaving behind frequent and fragrant reminders that they were here.

Cow flops.

North Hills is plastered with them. They’re on the sidewalks. They’re in the parks. They’re even in your front yard! And that’s not the dangerous part about this herd of 8 or 9 cows.

“When you’re driving along the road and they just come popping out of the arroyo or something, it’s bad,” said North Hills homeowner Edward Kisner. “There’s cars going both ways. One will swerve into the other one’s lane. I’ve had close calls where I’ve almost made ground beef!”

We found the cattle shading themselves beneath a scrawny-looking juniper tree on the open range right next to the subdivision. Open range means the owner of the cattle doesn’t have to fence them in, It’s up to other property owners to fence them out – and North Hills is not exactly a walled fortress.

“It’s a little dangerous because my seven year olds do come outside in the front yard to play,” said homeowner Denise Korycki. “Who knows – if something spooks that steer with the horns and they pin one of the girls. And the mess they leave behind – it’s a little disturbing.”

For now, Rio Rancho cops keep herding the cattle out of the neighborhood with their patrol cars, and the cows keep coming right back in search of fresh grass and water. Neighbors say police officers tell them they have to tolerate the visitors.

“It’s a nuisance,” said Kisner, who’s lived in North Hills for 17 years. “I’m sick and tired of it. They’re unpredictable. This is my neighborhood. I shouldn’t have to smell cow poop in the morning!”

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