Running of the bulls… in the city?

posted in: Blog Post | 6

So I, and most of the members of my family, literally had to climb onto cars to save our lives — because the neighbor was raising a bull in a residential yard and it got loose. So, not your typical Saturday.

My parents live next door to a crappy rental house.  It used to have a nice (well grouchy, but otherwise nice) 90-year-old lady, but she died. My folks tried buying it as an investment — but some slumlord beat them to buying it.


Since then he’s filled the place with a stream of tenants that have had various interactions with the local police.  Among my favorites, the dog fighters. A local TV station came out to show the Animal Control circus six years ago on the news. That was when a resident was trying to raise a dozen pit bulls with doggie treadmills and stuff. Then, a meth house moved in after that — and got an eviction-by-handcuff visit from said sheriff in 2006.

Now we have a neighbor who is raising a bull in the back yard.  He did some computer work – the client didn’t have any cash on ’em, so they paid him in livestock.  I don’t think you can have a bovine grazing in an R-2 zone, but whatever … it isn’t harming anyone, right?

bovineI came to visit yesterday, to find a bull snacking on grass in my parents’ yard.  That’s not cool.

I closed the gate and gave a call to the neighbors, ala “hey, your cow got out,” etc.  He shows up and tries to coax the bull back into his yard.  Being a computer guy, and no farmer, he only got the bull angry — and it starts charging all around the back property.

But not to worry!  I closed the gate, right?

My entire family had wandered outside to watch – after all, it’s not very often you see a moderately-dangerous animal wandering around in your yard.

And then … the “bull hit the fan,” figuratively speaking.  Literally speaking, he hit the gate.  And knocked it clean off its hinges.

Now, I pose a question:  What’s scarier than seeing an angry, non-castrated adolescent bull charging at you?  I’d answer, seeing this bull charge at your entire family. (sans Kate, who was inside fighting with the wording of her graduation speech).

As the bull started charging all of us, I felt like an unwilling participant in the Spanish “Running of the Bulls” … and made a decision on the spot to never compete in it.


Where do you go?  We all started jumping on top of cars.  I made it safely onto the roof of the Corolla – but it’s scary watching the rest of my family struggle to climb up onto other cars’ roofs.

I am impressed with how fast my mother got up onto a car roof.

If only I had my camera to record video of all running for our lives.  But sadly, I didn’t.  And honestly, even if I had, I don’t think it would’ve been high on my priority list at the time.  A bull doesn’t seem scary, until it’s charging at you.

Now we had a bull loose in the neighborhood.  I had no idea of what to do, so I called 9-1-1.  Dispatch had to ask me to repeat myself, “you have a … ‘what’ loose?”

Cars kept having to stop.  The bull wandered off into somebody’s yard.  At one point it started beating its horns against a mailbox.  Poor mailbox never stood a chance.


Thankfully, by the time the police arrived the neighbors had managed to round it up.  Animal Control checked it out to make sure its secure.  I guess there’s no ordinance against having a bull in your yard?  They let the neighbor keep it … which I think is “bull.”

Magna may have been a country town back in the 50’s, but in my lifetime it’s not been a place for livestock  The bull needs to go.  I’m grateful there weren’t any little kids walking down the street.  A bull could do some damage to an adult – but it could kill a child.

I just worry about next time.

6 Responses

  1. Natalie Marie

    oh come on this is living in Grantsville 101 🙂 Great story, I admit I've been waiting all weekend for this post

  2. Liz

    Again Rob you've outdone youself. Thanks for the compliment about how fast I can jump onto a car! You are amazing!

  3. Stacie

    Love what you said about how quick your mom jumped up on the car. wow. guess thats where i woulda headed too! glad the bull only damaged the gate and a mailbox and not any of the cars. Lol at the 911 operator's reaction. glad you are all ok! crazy they let the neighbor keep the bull

  4. Keith, Johanna, et al.

    This is amazing! Right here in Magna!?! I thought this was a quiet little community. When I drive by I look for the bull and strain to see where the cars are in case someone is on top of them. I loved reading this.