The Ballad of MollyB: Cows on the Run

Molly B makes a dash onto 8th Avenue South in Great Falls while running from law enforcement officers on Jan. 5, 2006. Credit: Robin Loznak / Associated Press -

Montana cow, later named MollyB, dashes away from slaughter.

Just hours away from becoming USDA and organic certified beef, Montana cow Molly B dashed away.  Chased by animal control officers, she swam across the Missouri river, earning the name “Unsinkable Molly B.”  Del Morris, manager at Mickey’s Packing Plant in Great Falls, MT, estimated that as a a heifer, Molly B was worth around $1,140 — at 95 cents per-pound. Her daring escape inspired local country DJs Scott Hershey and Brent Browning to write the Ballad of Molly B. Listen to it here.

Molly B

Molly B

After MollyB dashed for freedom in 2006, she found safe haven at the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.  But it was not to be the forever kumbaya home we all root for.  In 2011, Molly B was in the headlines again: Unsinkable Molly B, cow who escaped Montana slaughterhouse in 2006, moves to a new home , wrote the LA Times:

Molly B was among an estimated 1,200 animals removed from the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in recent weeks as part of a massive effort to bail out its overwhelmed owners. Animal welfare groups said they were forced to euthanize dozens of starving and ill cattle, horses and llamas found on the 400-acre sanctuary in rural Sanders County. The bovine celebrity herself — an overweight black Angus breed said to be sore in the hoof but otherwise relatively healthy — was removed to a nearby ranch and is headed this week to a smaller farm sanctuary. “Molly B made it OK. She’s a tough old broad,” said Jerry Finch with Habitat for Horses of Hitchcock, Texas, who participated in the rescue effort. “She had bad feet, but she was not anywhere near as bad as some of the others.”

Like in the movies, Molly B had more obstacles to overcome:  the newest rescue efforts almost left her behind. A steer (male!) had been rescued, mistaken for MollyB!

Yet when New Dawn owner Susan Eakins watched one of the reports on the nightly news, video of the cow climbing a hill revealed the sanctuary had gotten the wrong animal — a male steer named “Big Mike.” A mix-up left Molly B behind on another ranch.

Eventually, happy ending for Molly B at New Dawn Montana Farm Animal Sanctuary near Stevensville,MT:

The sanctuary’s Sue Eakins tells the Ravalli Republic it was a relief to have Molly B delivered safely last week. She says she and her husband had been warned about Molly’s demeanor, but Eakins says Molly is a “sweetie pie.”

Molly B at New Dawn, MT

Molly B at New Dawn, MT

Perhaps inspired by Molly B, two plucky New Jersey bovines raced for freedom in 2013:

The two cows were purchased Tuesday by a Montvale resident and were to be taken to Paterson for slaughter on Wednesday, according to Tyco Animal Control officer Carol Tyler. The trailer on the resident’s property couldn’t hold the 250-300 lbs. animals, and by Tuesday night they were causing chaos on Upper Saddle River and Chestnut Ridge roads, according to authorities. Drivers were forced to swerve around them, and roads were closed during the night-time escape.

The New Jersey bovines, a cow and a bull,  were offered retirement at Abma Farms in Wyckoff, NJ, where free-range poultry and pork are sold along with garden veggies, but no beef.


Notes: The Ballad of MollyB, written and performed by Scott Hershey and Brent Browning, DJs on on Max Country 94.5 FM Cow on the lam, Heifer eludes authorities for six hours Clifton Adcock / Tribune Staff Writer, Feb 8, 2008