The Humane Society of Washington County and Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies joined forces to capture a bull that had wandered away from a farm Wednesday morning and ended up in a wooded area near Meritus Medical Center.
Humane society Executive Director Paul Miller said the wayward bull, a red highland, was reunited with its owner a short distance away on Needys Lane. The bull traveled across Md. 64 to get to the spot where it was found near the hospital just outside Hagerstown, Miller said.
Protocol requires the humane society to find a farmer who is willing to hold lost livestock until the animal can be claimed by its owner, Miller said. Officers found a temporary holding site at a farm on Indian Lane until the owner arrived.
The owner's name was unavailable.
"They found a farm near the hospital," Miller said. "They said they could stick it in there until the owner showed up .... It got home. Everything's fine."
Michael Shifflett, a humane society field services officer, was able to approach the good-natured animal and place a rope around its neck. He then tied the bull to a tree while deputies tried to find the owner.
Lt. Art Overcash of the sheriff's office said Wednesday morning that officials stopped by several farms to ask if anyone was missing a bull, but they didn't have any luck at first.
The bull was spotted walking across private property near Eastern Elementary School at about 8:30 a.m., Overcash said. Officials were mainly worried about the bull walking into the road.
Miller said farmers should check their fences — especially during harsh weather when electric fences fail — to ensure livestock doesn't wander off.
"We don't want them to get in the road," Miller said.