Reporter Molly Smith: Was it the phone call you were expecting to get this morning?
Pat Fitzgerald/Fitzgerald Farm: Not at all. When someone calls at 2 in the morning it's never good.
It's the kind of news that would make any parent or farmer jump out of bed. A dozen youngsters caught sneaking out in the middle of the night. Call it peer pressure or maybe just crowd mentality, whatever it was, it landed these heifers in a heap of trouble.
"All 14 are in here now," Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald says the herd was out to pasture when he suspects something spooked them and they trampled their fence. That's when the outdoor sleepover turned into more of an all-nighter. And if these 10-month-olds look a little tired today, there's good reason for it. The bovine breakout started about a half mile down the pasture. They made their way all the way up through the farm and hit the road. But police were hot on their trail and were able to corral them to safety.
"It was dangerous with traffic, but the police did a good job of holding the traffic back and helped us in corralling them, and getting them into the trailer," Fitzgerald said.
Three of the cows stayed out in the field, but the 11 others managed to stick together during the entire 3-mile trek, which he says is surprising for their young age.
Molly Smith: You're completely shocked they made it home OK?
Pat Fitzgerald/Fitzgerald Farm: Oh, yes, with the amount of distance that they covered and catching them on the interstate. We were very fortunate.
But these ladies will not go unpunished; there will be consequences for this kind of behavior.
Molly Smith: So, they are being sent to their room now. How long do you expect that will last?
Pat Fitzgerald: Oh, probably just for a week. Then I'll put them back out to pasture.
Fitzgerald says he's hoping this outing doesn't set the tone for any more late night shenanigans this summer.
"Why me? Hopefully something like that is a once in a lifetime experience," Fitzgerald said.
Whether it's a lesson learned is another story.
The three innocent calves are being held with the other detainees until their pastures dry out a bit from all this rain.
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