Last week, a cow was shot and paralyzed at Garrett Farms in Nephi, Utah.
According to Utah Department of Agriculture, it's the eighth reported cattle killing in five counties since last April.
“When you have one of them injured and taken in that way, it’s sickening and it really hits home,” said Wade Garrett, who runs over 400 mother cattle in the area and is a sixth generation rancher. “They are creatures we care for deeply; they also are our income and our livelihood.”
According to Garrett, who also works with the Utah Farm Bureau, farming and ranching provides nearly 18% of the Gross Domestic Product in Utah.
Of the eight killings, the Utah Department of Agriculture says that some of them involved motor vehicle collisions, but others have been shot. They also believe that more killings may have taken place across the state and they either go unreported or only are reported to local law enforcement.
“Many of nights we’ve been out here at 3 a.m. on a cold winter's night making sure all the calves and all the cows were OK," Garrett said about his family's labor of love. "I mean, it’s just part of us."
Juab County Sheriff's Office told FOX 13 they are investigating the shooting. Garrett believes the cow was shot from 100 yards away or closer.
"As things hit us, it hits really hard. iIt’s our paychecks — I mean, standing behind us is our family’s paycheck,” said Garrett in front of some of his cattle. “If people know of people who are willfully doing this, please help come forward because it’s just an important part of the fabric of the state of Utah.”
Austin Garrett, Wade's son, is a seventh generation family rancher. He's hopeful that whoever shot #673 with a rifle will learn from this.
“I just don’t understand why someone would want to do that,” said Austin.
Now, #673's calf is an orphan. He's being bottle-fed away from the rest of the herd. Wade and Austin believe the shooting was intentional and that it wasn't a 'sportsman' who could have done it.
“Good sportsmen don’t do this kind of stuff,” said Wade, who has backing from Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Utah Farm Bureau, Utah Cattleman and Utah Department of Agriculture for a reward. Together, they are offering a $7,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction regarding the shot cow on West Meadow Lane in Nephi between late February 17 and early February 18.
Anyone with information can contact Juab County Sheriff's Office: 435-623-1349 or the Utah Department of Agriculture: 801-538-7100.