Steer on the loose: Bovine escapes startle Chesapeake neighbors


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – A steer that keeps escaping its pen is causing concern for a neighborhood in Chesapeake.    

One neighbor, Jennifer Economy, contacted 10 On Your Side because she is concerned for others’ safety.

Economy says she signed up for country living, but she didn’t sign up for a steer roaming her backyard constantly.

“Sometimes you see it being very docile and eating grass, but other times you see it running around and you just don’t know what it is going to do. If you see it charging after a dog or running out to the street, it is scary,” said Economy.

The owner Peter Alvich lives three doors down. He keeps his steer, Wellington, in the front yard. Jennifer says her problem is how frequently he gets out

“This thing that is very large, has very big horns, gets out all the time. Lately it’s been getting out what seems like every day,” Economy said. 

10 On Your Side talked with Alvich over the phone. He said they’ve owned Wellington for 10 years and this has only been an issue recently.

“What happened was that the side of the fence only had one rail on it and my steer kept pushing through it and kept getting out,” said Alvich.

Court documents say Peter is facing a class 3 misdemeanor nuisance charge first issued in March, then continued for a court date next month.

Peter says he has apologized to Jennifer and other neighbors multiple times

Jennifer just hopes this gets under control in the best way possible for all parties.

“We understand people have farm animals but you have to be responsible with your animals. I certainly do my best to take care of mine as do others on my street. This isn’t a stray cat we’re dealing with, this is a very large steer with very big horns,” Economy said.

Animal services said they have received cruelty complaints about the bull over the years.

When they come out after being called they don’t always see the bull at large, so that’s why Alvich is only receiving a nuisance charge.

Peter says he already spent $800 to fix the fence and will spend another $200 to electrify the fence so this doesn’t happen again.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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