15 Questions about the shooting of a pet cow in Maine

As a lifelong Mainer, I’m well aware that everyone I meet is probably carrying a weapon. And I’ve often seen cows plodding through our yard after escaping from a neighbor’s pasture. Still I was shocked at the widely reported news story about 24-year-old Andy Sparrow shooting and killing his neighbor’s pet cow, Sophie, when he found her in his driveway.

According to Andy’s father, Anthony, Sophie was damaging their vehicle with her horns, prompting Andy to shoo her away. When the cow noticed Andy, she ‘turned blue and came at him.’ Anthony said his son was scared and shot the cow in self-defense.

Nikkia Danforth, Sophie’s owner, said the death of her pet cow broke her heart. The ghastly incident could have been avoided if Andy had gotten in touch with her. “I would honestly have gone up and got her,” Nikkia said. “She would’ve followed us back.”

Though this story originated in Maine, enraged animal lovers around the world have responded. Even to the point of making death threats to Andy Sparrow. For me, it’s raised some questions.

  1. Just how common is it to have a pet cow these days? Is this some kind of a trend?
  2. If Sophie was a pet why wasn’t she on a leash?
  3. What size poop bag would you need when you take your pet cow for a walk?
  4. Do cows make good emotional support animals?
  5. Would you need to sedate a support cow before taking her on an airplane?
  6. What kind of security deposit should a landlord require for a tenant who is moving in with a support cow?
  7. Why did Andy Sparrow have a loaded gun when he ran out to shoo away the cow? (Did Andy think the word ‘shoo’ had a ‘t’ on the end?)
  8. Is it possible the image of ram’s horns and dangling truck nuts on a Dodge Ram prompted Sophie’s behavior? Was her ‘attack’ of the vehicle actually foreplay?
  9. How could a female cow in heat defend herself against a Sparrow packing heat?
  10. Andy claimed the cow turned blue. Was it just the white part of the cow that turned blue, or was it the whole animal?
  11. If it was the entire cow, how do we know it wasn’t a distant relative of Babe, the Blue Ox?
  12. Was Paul Bunyan the first person to domesticate a bovine?
  13. Does our love of automobiles outweigh the preservation of animals? (Asking for a squirrel).
  14. Does our love of animals outweigh the preservation of humans? (Asking for Andy, who has received death threats).
  15. Does our love of juicy hamburgers and steaks outweigh the preservation of pet cows? (Asking for a conflicted carnivore).

What questions do you have about this disturbing story?

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6 thoughts on “15 Questions about the shooting of a pet cow in Maine”

  1. Feel Andy is being maligned. Was Sophie stricken with mad cow disease through owner neglect? Did the loss of her bovine life partner inexorably put her on a collision course with Andy with whom she’d long harbored a crush and sought to consummate it without his consent? What did Fox news say?

  2. Now I’m craving steak, which is probably not the response the original article writer had in mind. Maybe the number of cows I’ve eaten plays into why I feel death threats are an overreaction … but then, they usually are.

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