Forsyth County deputies round up wandering farm animals

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- Deputy M. Norwood has been with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office for one and a half years. The job gives him a chance to meet the people of Forsyth County and at times, enjoy the beauty of the Piedmont county.

"It's one of those perks to being able to work in Forsyth County, in the rural areas," Norwood said. "A lot of sights with the animals and winding roads and stuff like that."

Recently, the perks of the job got in the way.

"I heard the call come out about a blocked roadway. And when I got in my car and saw it was sheep, I kind of chuckled," Norwood said.

Late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, about 20 sheep and one donkey named Jenny left a farm and were standing in the middle of Bethania-Tobaccoville Road. The farm animals' owner, Charles Taft, explained how the animals escaped the pasture.

"A fence post was compromised. I guess one of the animals rubbed up against it and got out," Taft said. "Sheep are flock animals and they like to stay together. So when one of them got out, the others followed him out along with Jenny."

Getting the animals out of the road was a new experience for Norwood.

"They were a little scared at first. We are not farmers or anyone that has contact with them. I'm sure we looked crazy in our black uniforms," Norwood said.

Norwood and another deputy came up with a plan. Norwood took out his flashlight and shined a path for the sheep and donkey to follow. At the same time, the other deputy used his cruiser to gently guide the lost herd to another pasture.

Taft was not home at the time, but he said the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office deputies did a great job moving the animals out of the road safely.

"They did exactly the right thing. Making sure no one got hurt and none of the animals got hurt and the automobile drivers didn't get hurt," Taft said.

Helping the people of Forsyth County doesn't mean you always have to be on the lookout for criminals. Sometimes patrolling the county means helping a neighbor.

"What we do here is service to the community," Norwood said. "So this is just another thing that is a part of our service to the community."

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