Abandoned cow faces uncertain future, Knox Co. neighborhood rallies around ‘Betsy’

Knox County neighbors take care of abandoned cow named Betsy Valentine
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A farmer’s Knox County land was sold, leaving behind a then calf to fend for herself.

More than a decade later. neighbors are helping.

Twice a day, two men take time to look out for a lonely old friend who visits from time to time.

That friend is a 2,000-pound cow named Betsy Valentine — named after the patch of hair on her head that’s reminiscent of a heart.

“I grew up around animals all my life, and I’ve never had one as a friend. I always eat them,” Jim Bird said. For six years Jim Bird and his neighbor, Phil Goldman, have been caring for Besty after they said a company bought her home farm along Andes Rd. in Knox County."There’s nothing like it. I can’t even explain it, it’s different from a household pet. It’s a unique relationship for the both of us," Goldman said.

They said they watched as dozens of animals were taken from the property, except for Betsy.

The families said the cow could never be caught, so she’s been moseying around 60 acres for about 12 years.

The acres she’s roaming around will soon be developed into a subdivision, which has made neighbors question what will happen to Betsy.

She won’t fit in their fenced backyard, and they don’t think she’ll leave the property without a fight.

There’s no official word on when construction would start, but Jim and Phil are pleading with the property owners.

“She doesn’t have much longer here. Let her live a life in peace,” Bird said.

WVLT News reached out to the property owners in hopes of learning what Betsy’s options are and how long she has to roam freely on the property, but have not heard back as of Wednesday night.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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