What happens when your cattle run off to greener pastures or your horse jumps the fence? Who ya gonna call? The local sheriff, of course.
In Texas, the county sheriff is tasked with handling estrays. “Estray” is a fancy word for stray livestock. It includes exotic livestock, bison, and stray exotic fowl, as well as the normal cattle, goats, sheep, etc.
If someone notices an estray on his land, he has a legal duty (under Texas Agriculture Code § 142.003) to report the animal to the local sheriff as soon as practical.
Once he learns of an estray, the sheriff will attempt to notify the animal’s owner (if an owner can be determined.) The sheriff can also impound the estray under certain circumstances, such as when the owner is unknown or cannot be contacted, or if the animal is dangerous to the public.
So, if you are unable to locate missing livestock, contact the local sheriff. He may have been notified of your estray.