Surviving cows recovering at sanctuary after semi crash - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Surviving cows recovering at sanctuary after semi crash

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Dozens of cows were killed after a semi-trailer truck that was hauling them crashed into a creek.

The crash happened Friday morning in Washington County. The driver had to be pulled from the wreck and was transported to the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics for treatment. His condition is unknown at this time.

After learning of the crash, Jered Camp got in touch with Iowa State Patrol and officers on the scene to offer help. He and his wife, Shawn, run Iowa Farm Sanctuary.

Shawn, along with two others, arrived at the crash to help look for surviving cattle and provide comfort to those dying. She said the mangled trailer looked like a murder scene.

"Looking for the survivors, and I literally stumbled upon one that had passed.  Then I kind of lost my composure, and I broke down for a minute and then I had to pull it back together," Camp said.

In all, there were only eight lucky survivors, with over 20 cows dead.

"There are some that may have drowned. I imagine some were trampled. Some probably just smacked their head so hard," Camp said.

Camp said they were able to call the Kentucky-based company in charge of transporting them and negotiated a surrender to keep the cows.

"We called the company where these guys came from out-of-state and said 'we're loading them up, we're going to get them vetted, there's only eight survivors' and they just said 'okay,'" she said.

The cows were then brought back to the sanctuary, largely home to animals that are used as food, to live out their natural lives rather become food. Though the road doesn't stop there for them, four of the eight are currently being treated at the Iowa State Animal Large Hospital.

One that they named Max has several facial injuries, like a fractured jaw, that will require surgery, and a fracture above its eye.

"We just visited him last night when we took the second most critical in. We don't know if he'll be able to keep his right eye yet," Jered said.

The others are being treated for injured legs, hooves, and hips. Though, for these cows, that likely beats the road they were heading down.

"They were going somewhere to put some weight on," Shawn said.

Both Shawn and Jered agree that accidents involving livestock is something they see frequently. Their sanctuary farm has roughly 50 animals living on it, and they said many fell from trucks.

"We could be a pig sanctuary for solely the amount of pigs that fall off of trucks," Jered said.

One problem facing the farm is lack of space and growing veterinarian bills with the new eight cattle they took on. Information on how to help with the cows' recovery can be found here. Updates on the cows are also on their Facebook page.

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