Counties see more abandoned livestock - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Counties see more abandoned livestock

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- East Texas animal control officers often have to deal with abandoned dogs and cats, but a new abandonment is becoming more frequent, livestock! Humane kennels regularly fill up from stray dogs and cats, and those that have been abandoned, but now rescue centers are filling as well , with livestock.

"Typically we're seeing this out in the county where they're leaving the city and going out in the county dumping animals out," says Longview Police Sergeant David Scott.

In east Texas counties , donkeys and horses most often are mysteriously showing up in open fields for what animal rescue workers believe is economy driven.

"Between the economy its hurt a lot of people, a lot of people losing their homes, different counties have called us they've got abandoned horses or just stray horses out," says Safe Haven Equine Rescue director Richard Fincher.

In spite of what the owners intentions may be, its still a crime to abandon any animal without food or water.

"Well according to the state of Texas it fails under the cruelty to animals where a person knowingly or intentionally abandons and animal without providing reasonable care," Scott says.

Fincher has several horses given to him under similar circumstances.

"Its gotten to a point where do I save my house, I've got to get rid of the horse, the horse has got to go I can't afford to feed him. do I make the house payment or go buy feed? the best thing to do is find someone to take it," Fincher says.

But places like safe haven are filled to capacity, and with no room at the inn, more livestock may show up in open fields. Because many of the abandoned livestock have no brand or markings , its difficult for investigators to find who they belong to.

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