Neighbors upset over 90-year-old farmer's loose cows in Person County

25 March 2022

— Henry Pleasant is a 90-year-old veteran who owns a family farm in Person County. But as he’s gotten older, it’s been harder to maintain the livestock on his property.

“I’ve lived here all my life except the time I was in the U.S. Navy,” Pleasant said.

Person County Animal Control has received dozens of calls since 2018 over Pleasant’s 12 cows, according to animal control director Kelly Oakley.

Pleasant says that he doesn’t have enough money to build a fence around his property. He said it would cost him around $20,000 to build a fence around his 98-acre farm and he relies on support from the government just to get by.

“All of my cows were born here on the farm. They’re pets of mine,” he said, “I put my hands on every one of them almost every day.”

Pleasant said that he doesn’t raise his cows for money or to be slaughtered.

“I love every one of them,” he said.

Oakley said that Pleasant has been cited in the past for letting his cows roam around. She is going to visit Pleasant on Tuesday and if she does not find that he is making an effort to fence in his cows, he will have to be charged.

“It’s a community issue. The neighbors are very upset that this hasn’t been resolved,” she said. “It’s also a safety issue that the cows are in the roadway.”

Pleasant could face charges for allowing livestock to run at-large, Oakley said. If charged, Pleasant will face a judge, who could decide to seize the cows from his land.

“I haven’t been able to sleep well at night just thinking about it,” he said.

On Saturday at 10 a.m, the family will be on the farm trying to fix the fences. The family is asking people to bring fencing and garden supplies to trim some of the brush to 3675 Gordonton Rd, Hurdle Mills.

They are asking for help from the community so that his cows won’t be taken away.

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