How now, brown cow?

“She is up and moving around on her own,” said Pell City Fire Department Capt. Tim Kurzejeski, who along with fellow firefighters help rescued a cow that fell into a septic tank Monday.

The 1,000-pound cow was apparently walking across the septic tank when it collapsed.

“The middle lid caved in, and she fell in,” Kurzejeski said. “She was up to her shoulders in raw sewage.”

The Pell City Fire Department received the mutual aid call at about 11:10 a.m. Monday to assist in an animal rescue on Lewis Lake Lane.

“Sure enough, it was a cow,” Kurzejeski said. “Due to health and safety concerns, we contacted a septic service company to pump the tank out.”

He said personnel form the city’s street department also arrived on the scene to help out.

Kurzejeski said they planned to put straps underneath the cow and lift her out of the septic tank with the street department’s excavating equipment, but emergency workers were only able to get straps underneath the cow’s front legs before the large animal decided to lie down.

“This is not something we run across every day,” he said. “It was a challenging rescue.”

The fire department eventually used water to fill the septic tank and float the cow out of her predicament.

“It was 3 to 4 p.m. when we got her out,” Kurzejeski said.

The cow had no visible injuries.

“It was a learning experience for everyone involved,” Kurzejeski said.

Contact David Atchison at