Barney, where are you? Missing bull on the lam in Moriches area for two weeks


Suffolk County’s most wanted animal remains on the lam nearly a full two weeks after running away from a Moriches farm and escaping certain death and slaughter.

Barney, the large black bull nicknamed after the farm’s Barnes Road address, remains hidden from human sight tonight in an expansive grassy field in the Moriches, Shirley, Mastic area, rescuers said. He has access to plenty of water and food, and a safe sanctuary awaits him New Jersey.

But rescuers and officials remain concerned for his safety — and the safety of residents — should he emerge from hiding and run through neighborhoods or onto busy streets.

The Suffolk County SPCA has posted “Missing Bull” flyers throughout the area, insisting that people immediately call 911 if they see the bull and not to approach the bull. Newsday reported that Bayport veterinarian Dennis Dougherty donated tranquilizing serum to the Suffolk County Police Department, in the event the 1,500-pound animal needs to be sedated.

Police said Barney escaped the Moriches farm some time on Tuesday, July 20, before he was spotted trotting through a Mastic neighborhood about 8:20 a.m. Delivered from Texas, Barney had been scheduled to be slaughtered and eaten as part of a religious ceremony.

If and when Barney is safely captured, his life will be spared, and he will be transferred to Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue in Wantage, New Jersey, 54 miles from New York City.

Barney billboard in the works

Inspired by Barney’s flight for life, PETA and Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) are seeking to place a billboard in the Moriches area proclaiming, “Help Others Escape the Slaughterhouse: Go Vegan.” LION staffers are participating in the rescue effort.

“This bull is fighting hard to gain his freedom, just as any of us would be doing if someone were after us with a knife,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said. “PETA’s billboard will remind each of us that we can honor his bravery and win freedom for all animals, from bulls to birds, by keeping them off our plates.”

Along with LION, Suffolk SPCA and Sklylands, the following organizations have participated in the search and rescue effort: Strong Island Rescue, Lisa’s Run Animal Rescue, Nobody Starves Food Bank, Eddie’s Canine Search & Rescue and Broken Antler.

Above photo: Life on the farm, the kind the two bovines in the above photo are enjoying, await Barney the bull at Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue in New Jersey. (Facebook / Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue)

Our Local Supporters