“I was horrified of the condition they were in,” said Patricia Hopkins. “Two were pregnant and it was obvious they were near starving.”
On March 14, the Fair Oaks, Texas massage therapist was driving along the frontage road of IH-10 between San Antonio and Boerne when she something that made her pull over.
“I could not believe that someone with million dollar property would not be able to take care of the bulls and cows they use to get their agriculture exempt status,” Hopkins recalled. “It was obvious they were malnourished.”
The livestock are in two different pastures, separated by the entranceway of the Hills of Fair Oaks apartment homes on Starr Ranch Road, just south of Fair Oaks Parkway along IH-10. Throughout the 2014-15 winter, residents at the apartments had been feeding the animals when they noticed their water supply was not working.
“It was freezing and these cows had no water,” stated one resident who asked not to use her name. “I called the office (of Hills of Fair Oaks) and they were able, with the help of good Samaritans, get the water working again.”
“Just inside the fence of each pasture there are two large troughs with new hoses now,” the resident added. “We (the community) make sure there is plenty of water for them, but it was very sad to see how these owners left them.”
“Sure there has been rain lately and the grass is getting greener for spring,” mentioned Hopkins. “But those two cows are pregnant and beginning to show milk and they need proper nourishment.”
“The first thing I did was go to Strutty’s (Feed and Pet Supply) and get them something to eat,” Hopkins recalled. “The female (cow) was so starved and boney she had difficulty trying to eat. In fact, at first she would not even try.”
Hopkins, who grew up on a farm in Kingdom City, a community located almost halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, is a volunteer for Kendalia Wildlife Rescue in Kendall County. Hopkins has been providing them with hay and supplement feed for nourishment and introduced some electrolytes into their water trough. But the therapist is limited to what she can afford.
“I contacted Animal Cruelty and have a Case #2015-BCSCO-011460 and talked with Sheriff’s Deputy Pons,” Hopkins said. “I also called KENS-5 (San Antonio television news station) and they came out and filmed but have not aired anything yet.”
“I have been trying to locate and find out who the owners of this property are,” Hopkins continued as she showed a stack of receipts she had from Strutty’s. “I can’t afford to keep this up and they need to be taken care of.”
The two bulls and three cows “look much better than they did even a couple of weeks ago,” she said. “But this third cow may be pregnant. It’s hard to say because she looks a little too young to be going through this.”
In the meantime, Hopkins is asking “if anyone wants to help, just go down to Strutty’s and buy a bale of hay or ask them what they recommend for these cows. They will have the hay waiting for me there so I can pick it up. They know me and they will let me know. I feed them every day so it would be so helpful.”
Strutty’s is located at 28630 IH-10 West in Boerne, Texas 78006 at 830 981 2258. Patricia Hopkins is at 28720 IH-10 West, Suite 600, Boerne, Texas 78006 (Fair Oaks exit by John Deere) at 210-473-8693.