Dead Cow Washes up on Half Moon Bay Beach

If you see an animal that's injured, sick or dead in San Mateo County, here's a list of who to call.

A Half Moon Bay mom and her 6-year-old daughter came upon a dead cow Monday morning on the northern end of Half Moon Bay State Beach off of Kelly Avenue.

“It looks like it drowned,” said Michele Hannegan, who spoke with a state park ranger who said it washed up more than a week ago in the last storm.

The dispatcher at the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA told Half Moon Bay Patch she’s never in her three years of working there had a call for taking care of a dead cow on a beach before.

Thanks to Hannegan for contacting Patch, the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA is now planning to pick up the animal sometime today.

If you see an animal that's injured, sick or dead in San Mateo County, here's a reminder of who to call:

To report sick or injured wildlife, contact:

Peninsula Humane Society
(650) 340-8200

For dead animal pick-up, contact:

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (650) 340-8200 for dead animals on public property with the exception of freeways/highways.

Caltrans  (650) 358-4127 for dead animals on freeways/highways.

Residents and business owners are allowed to place small, dead animals (i.e. birds, squirrels, gophers, etc.) found on their private property in a bag for their regular garbage pickup.  Landfills are licensed to accept them.

Larger animals found on private property cannot be placed in the garbage.  The resident/business owner can call an animal removal company or bring the animals to the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA 24/7 for disposal.

Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA will pick up any dead animals on the street for free.  They will pick up domestic animals and wild animals, excluding deer, on private property for a fee.  Deer will be picked up on public property only, for free.

Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA will not charge for domestic animal pick-up on private property as long as the animal is not owned (a stray).  They will pick-up domestic, owned animals on private property for a fee.

Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA will not pick up dead animals (deer, wildlife, or domestic) from freeways.  Freeways are 101, 280, 84 (Woodside Road), Highway 25 (Skyline Blvd.), Highway 82 (El Camino Real).  Freeway pick-ups are handled by Caltrans, 650-358-4127.

Information courtesy of the San Mateo County Health System.


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George Muteff January 07, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Thanks for the call list. I'll be sure to keep it handy and use it - except for cougar cubs.
HMB January 07, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Wow. Great that when a popular young mom reports it something is done --- as opposed to the report given to the state by the regular beach surveyors a week ago.
Christa Bigue (Editor) January 08, 2013 at 12:35 AM
The woman simply alerted Patch about the cow this morning and also spoke to a park ranger. Thanks to her tip, Patch then called the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA a number of times today to get them to come over and take care of it which they assured us they would. Part of that was contacting the woman for more details. I hope the report given to the state by the regular beach surveyors a week ago was also the impetus for getting something done.
Scott Delucchi January 08, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Just wanted to let Patch readers know that PHS/SPCA is actively working with the ranger to remove the cow and that we will incur the costs for removal/disposal which should be completed by tomorrow. We first learned of this yesterday. -- Scott Delucchi
Christa Bigue (Editor) January 08, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Thank you for the update Scott! Great news. The Half Moon Bay community will be happy to know you're on it! San Mateo County residents are very fortunate to have such a well-run organization such as PHS/SPCA.


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