Cow herded out of pool
RUTHERFORDTON — A cow weighing an estimated 2,000 pounds was rescued from a private swimming pool off of Maple Creek Road near Rutherfordton Monday shortly after 4 p.m.
After a rescue that lasted at least an hour, the cow finally walked out of the pool with the help of 10 men pulling on the ropes they had around her.
The cow and a bull, belonging to Brett and Tiffany Lowery of C.C. Lovelace Road, got out of the pasture some time Monday after 1:30 p.m. They were apparently spooked by a dog and ran from the pasture.
When homeowner, Rick Lewis came home at about 1:30 p.m. to take the family dog outside, he said there was no cow in the pool at that time.
But when his wife, Linda Lewis, got home at 3 p.m. to take the dog outside, she heard noises around the pool.
She saw the cow on its side, with its head out of the water, "making noises." Its hoof was up in the air, trapped on the canvas of the pool cover and could not move.
"The cow was very weak at that time," Lewis said.
She went in the house and got scissors to cut the canvas away from the hoof. She then stayed in the water, holding the cow's head and nose upuntil help arrived from the Green Hill Fire Department.
"I was hysterical. I called 911," she said, looking down on the rescue scene from the top of her deck.
It appears the bull could have also been in the pool. The canvas had several large tears that could have been made by him.
Lewis said when she went toward the pool to hold the cow's head, the bull was making noises and scared her. He eventually ran off.
When firefighters and volunteers arrived on the scene, shortly after her call, they entered the water to begin rescue efforts.
At about 4:08 p.m., with ten Green Hill firefighters and volunteers pulling with all their might, the cow was able to walk up the steps and out of the pool. She slid several times, but finally walked out.
"She had been fighting so long she was very weak, but once she was able to recover some of her strength, she was able to get out with our help," said Green Hill Fire Chief Don McEntire. "It is below freezing in that pool. There was no visible ice, but there should have been."
As soon as the cow was on all fours standing in the yard, the ropes were taken away and she was allowed to run free. She ran into the nearby woods.
"This is the coldest I've ever been in my life," said Eddie Vance, four year volunteer fireman.
He and Lt. Billy Ruff, were in the pool the entire time.
"Thank God, she got out alive," said an emotional Lewis.
Tiffany Lowery arrived on the scene only minutes after the cow was rescued.
Tiffany, a teacher at Rutherfordton Elementary School, said a neighbor called her at school and told her a cow and bull were out of their pasture.
She left school and was searching along the roads for the cow and bull when she got a call informing her that they were in the swimming pool.
Firefighters and the homeowners said they had never seen anything quite this before.