"I came out and got in my truck and saw this cow coming down the street."
It was his animal.
Four States' manager Jim Starliper said he searched for the cow for about three hours before finding it in Rose Hill Cemetery.
Finding the cow was only half the battle, though, Starliper said. Corralling an animal that weighs 1,050 pounds is no simple feat. To help with the project, Starliper said he brought in Tim Naylor, a local rodeo rider who pursued the cow on horseback.
"He just threw the old rope around her and had a little tug-of-war for a while," Starliper said.
The cow was taken back to Four States' and was to sold at auction Wednesday night.
In between, the cow caused a stir throughout Hagerstown. Starliper said the animal got away from the company's pen on East First Street and crashed through a fence. Along the way it damaged a car on Wilson Boulevard, he added.
"She took a little tour," Starliper said. "They can hear one another. That kind of draws her back."
Farmers and livestock dealers buy and sell cattle, goats, pigs and sheep at Four States' every Wednesday evening, Starliper said. He said an animal gets loose about once a year.
"Every time it happens is too many times," he said.
Thomas said this happened to one of his animals once before. About two months ago, a steer got away, he said.
"I'll tell you, when they get out like that, they get all rambunctious," he said.
Rachel Black, a Four States' employee, said catching an AWOL cow can be a chore because it moves "in whatever direction it wants to go. They sort of have minds of their own."
Wandering through city streets can be an ordeal for cattle, too - especially those that are accustomed to grazing pastures, Black said.
"They get really spooked then," she said.