WALTON COUNTY — When you think of the Walton County Animal Shelter, you're likely to think of dogs and cats. But don't forget cows like the one who was recently struck by a car on a rural road near Westville.

The cow, who shelter staff have named Diablo, suffered only scrapes and bruises. But several weeks after the incident, no one has come to claim her and she is one of at last six farm animals to be auctioned off Feb. 9.

"It's fairly common," said Lindsey Batchelor, public information officer, of having farm animals at the shelter. "We never have too terribly many at the same time."

In addition to Diablo the shelter is caring for one rooster, three chickens — all of whom were left behind when their owner was evicted — and a horse named Piper, whose owners could no longer afford to care for her.

Unlike dogs and cats, farm animals are not available for immediate adoption. Instead, they are held until auctions like the one Feb. 9 at the shelter at 9 a.m. If no one bids on them there, they may find a new home with another animal rescue better equipped to care for them.

Chickens are easy. Larger animals require more feed and, potentially, more veterinary care.

"It can get very expensive," Batchelor said.

As for the cow who got hit by a car? Also more common than you may think.

Batchelor said in the northern part of the county, cows regularly get out of the pastures and motorists find them wandering down rural roads. Folks familiar with farming will use their vehicles to "herd" the animals along the side of the road until they reach a point where they can be safely sheltered.

In Diablo's case, a truck was herding her when an impatient motorist passed the truck, startling the cow, who ran in front of the car.

"We put her on Facebook. Nobody came forward," Batchelor said. "We're thinking she either got out of a fence or hopped a fence."