Deputies kill 2 escaped cows in Plymouth

After two cows escaped a truck headed for slaughter, cops were forced to the shoot them, saying it was for the public's safety. Now animal rescue groups are asking if there was a better way to handle it. 

"In most cases the sheriffs put down the animals. The animals are running away scared," said Dan McKernan.

McKernan runs the Barn Sanctuary in Chelsea, a refuge for farm animals. He got word of the bizarre situation Thursday afternoon and rushed out there with his horse trailer to try and help corral them.

"I got there. I pretty much was turned away immediately," he said.

Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies had to shoot the first one, then used the Michigan State police helicopter to find the other, who was also killed. The department says they were aggressive, even lunging at the deputies, and were a threat to the public.

"An animal running scared in the woods being shot at. I just don't think that's a great way to go,"  McKernan said.

McKernan says the cows' owner decided to butcher one of the animals in a wooded area and leave it. Deputies had nothing to do with that part. 

"I've never really seen a butchered cow in the middle of the woods before. There was a lot of blood everywhere, and it was just gruesome," he said.

McKernan is now asking if there's another way to handle this next time something like it happens.

"Best case scenario I would like to worth with the police department that when this case happens, we can load up a horse trailer and go out and try and work together to rescue these animals," he said.

McKernan says alternatives are out there and he wants to be the go-to guy for law enforcement when farm animals run wild. 

"I would like to establish that relationship to be a rescue for them to help capture these animals," he said.

This doesn't just happen out in the county. About a week ago in Canton, a cow got loose from a butcher shop and resulted in the same ending - police were forced to shoot it for public's safety