Local vet to the rescue

Orange Veterinarian Kimberly McClure had her hands full last week when she received an emergency call from the New Haven Police Department.

A bull had been hit by a car. Its leg was broken.

McClure, being McClure, jumped to her feet, raced to her office for the necessary equipment and supplies she thought she would need. She made her way to Valley Street in New Haven.

She found a scene that would be rare even in rural parts of the state, let alone a city street.

The bull, though gravely injured, had been able to bolt around the street on its three good legs for nearly an hour before authorities could contain it. New Haven police said state authorities had refused to help with the animals, and they had trouble immediately finding a veterinarian who specialized in cattle.

McClure said she is not surprised that police had trouble finding help for the animal. While it's rare to find wandering cattle in New Haven, it's just as rare these days to find veterinarians who will work on livestock, she said.

"There is a whole different approach to dealing with livestock. They are a different species and the treatment is a lot different than for a dog or cat," said McClure, whose practice includes small pets as well as farm animals.

The bull's saga had started two days earlier when authorities began fielding calls about three cows wandering the streets of New Haven.

Then, as New Haven resident Richard Joyner was driving on Valley Street around 9 a.m. last Monday, the 500-pound bull crossed his path, forcing Joyner to crash into the large animal.

Unfortunately, authorities said, due to the type of fracture the bovine sustained, it had to be euthanized.

While authorities believe the cattle came from a farm in Bethany or Woodbridge, there have been no reports of missing livestock.

"The one I worked on was a beef cow, not a dairy cow," McClure said, referring to the euthanized animal and noting that there is a distinction between the two types of livestock.

McClure said there is no central emergency location for livestock.

Editor's note: New Haven Register staff reporters Tara Young and William Kaempffer contributed to this story.