MAHONING COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN)- The Mahoning County Farm Bureau is offering a reward with the hopes of finding more information on the release of local livestock.
The bureau is offering a $5,000 reward that will be paid to anyone providing information to law enforcement that leads to the arrest and conviction of those who are responsible.
“It’s a huge safety issue, not only for the animals but for innocent people that have no idea – like who would think there would be a cow on the road,” said Jen Pemberton, Mahoning County Farm Bureau president.
Pemberton was driving through Jackson Township last week as horses were being corraled..after getting out of their pen.
“I actually saw one of the vehicles that way hit by the horse,” she said.
The Mahoning County Farm Bureau will offer an additional $1,000 reward to “anyone providing information to law enforcement that leads to the arrest and conviction of persons for crimes committed to any property owner in the county.”
Nick Kennedy, organization director for the Farm Bureau, said they have heard from horse and cattle owners as late as Tuesday about similar issues and some alpacas were let out.
Kennedy and Pemberton are urging members to report trespassers and other suspicious activity, but they know some are reluctant.
“A lot of people don’t want to get their name out there because once their name is out there, they might become a target,” said Nick Kennedy, organization director for the Farm Bureau.
But not everyone feels that way. Jamie Everson with Everson Farm said someone opened the gate to her barn last week and freed nearly all of her dairy cows. She plans to add extra security.
“My first thought was if I report it, then I can prosecute because this is our livelihood,” she said.
Everson is adding extra security. “Cameras and stuff are gonna be next,” she said.
In the meantime, leaders with the Farm Bureau hope their reward will get owners to be more vigilant over their properties.