COLUMN: Help us reunite you with your livestock

Submitted photo.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown.

We’ve had a few more estray sales than normal over the past several months. You may have seen notices about them on the county website or caught the posts we’ve put on our Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Whenever we pick up livestock and can’t find the owners, the law requires we hold the animals for 18 days before holding a sale. This past week, we held a sale for a stray horse and there’s a bull that’s heading to auction by the end of the month. After that, a couple of goats are next on the block.

We did have the owner turn up for a couple of paint horses that had been scheduled for sale later this week, so that sale’s been cancelled. I assure you, we’d much prefer to see owners reunited with their animals than have to house them and hold an auction.

How can livestock owners help us? It’s easy enough: Check on your animals on a regular basis and keep your fences in good shape.

Another thing that helps is for livestock owners to provide updated information for our cowdex, which is the database we check when we’re trying to determine where animals belong. It’s a list of people’s livestock and other animals, with the exception of dogs and cats. Owners give us information about the animals they’ve got, where those animals are located and contact phone numbers. When we get a report of loose livestock, the cowdex can be very helpful in getting owners and their animals reunited.

There’s a link to the cowdex underneath the Animal Control tab on our website, Input your information directly into the online form or, if you don’t have access to a computer, write down the number and types of animals you have, where you’ve got them and make a note of your contact information, including all phone numbers where you can be reached. You can then mail the information to us or drop it by our office, 300 S. Jackson St., Waxahachie, TX 75165.

Help us get you and your animals back together again by keeping your information up to date in the cowdex.

As always, keep our military and service personnel in your thoughts and prayers as we remember that the rights and freedoms we enjoy begin with their service and safekeeping of our great nation. May you have a Blessed Week.

Johnny Brown has served as Sheriff of Ellis County since Jan. 1, 2009, and is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute. He has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and holds a Master’s Peace Officer’s Certificate with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.