LEXINGTON, S.C. — For the past three years Lexington County has been working to restructure how they respond to large animal calls and where to keep them.
We're talking about horses, cows and pigs.
A brand new barn is the latest temporary home for these big livestock animals roaming parts of Lexington County.
Costing a little over $150,000, it has six stalls, storage areas, a trailer, fans for the summer and heat for the winter.
Steve Collins, the county's animal services director tells News 19 it's a need.
"We are a rural county in especially our outer areas - Pelion, Swansea and up toward Batesburg-Leesville and it basically is better to have a plan in place to respond to something than to have to come up with the plan on the fly," Collins said.
The county's primary large animal investigator, Holly Hallman, explains she responds to three or more calls a week, averaging about 240 calls a year.
"Today for example I have a chickens astray call, so there are some chickens running loose. So I'll try to go out there, address it with the owner. The main goal is to speak to an owner and get the problem solved," Hallman said.
Holly tells News 18 the county's main priority is to reunite these animals with their owners out in the field because it's stressful on them to be brought back to this barn. But sometimes it's necessary.
"I know we've had at least I think two horses that have come in, we've had a donkey, several chickens, a number of pot belly pigs, a goat," Collins said.
Holly shares she enjoys the challenge.
"I think livestock are more challenging to capture, to investigate, more so than the small animal world, so I like the challenge behind it and I'm just fascinated by livestock," Hallman said.
The animals will stay in the barn for at least five days until they're adopted out or given to a local rescue if the owner isn't found.
A thorough check is done to be sure the adopter can handle the large animal.
There are also ways you can help the team taking care of this new barn.
Lexington County animal services is in the process of developing a volunteer program.
If you'd like more information, or if you're a non-profit that deals with large animals looking to connect, you can reach out by calling their main office. That number is 803-785-8149.