North Hills residents unhappy with roaming cattle

Posted at: 07/19/2013 6:18 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Rio Rancho city leaders say they’re doing what they can to help one neighborhood deal with an invasion of wandering cattle, but people who live there say it’s not enough.

The cows appear to belong to the nearby King Ranch. Under the state’s open range laws, the owners are not required to fence them in. Rio Rancho police have cited the ranch foreman several times for allowing cattle to wander into the city’s North Hills subdivision, but a judge has tossed the tickets out. Homeowners say it’s not enough.

“Not close,” said Linda McDonald. “They’re there every day so I think it should be every day if that’s the case. They ought to get cited every day that the cows are out there making messes for people to clean up.”

“There should be heavier citations,” said Allee Keator. “I also believe that the owner of the cows should pay for the cleanup that the Parks and Rec guys are doing. I don’t think the citizens around here should be paying with our tax dollars. I believe it should be the owner of the cows.”

North Hills is practically carpeted with cow patties nowadays. The sidewalks are plastered with manure. The parks have cow flops everywhere, and stench and flies are commonplace.  People are fed up, but state law does not appear to give Rio Rancho the power to do much about it. So far this month, Rio Rancho police have been called out 50 times to herd the cattle off the streets and out of yards and parks with their patrol cars.