Dozens Of Neglected Livestock Rescued In Henderson County - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/9/06-Henderson County

Dozens Of Neglected Livestock Rescued In Henderson County

No grass, no food and most importantly no water leaves dozens of animals in Henderson County stuggling to stay alive. This morning the Henderson County Sheriff's Department along with the Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescued livestock who live on a 17 acre piece of land off County Road 4321 near Moore City.   There were 23 cows, 7 donkeys and a pony.  The SPCA says the animals may not understand it, but they now have a much better future ahead of them.

"I know where they are going and they are not going to have to worry about food," said Ann Barnes, Vice President of Operations for SPCA. The SPCA, came down from Dallas to help Henderson County Sheriff's deputies rescue the animals. They say in time, the animals would have gotten a lot worse.

"We have quite a bit of livestock on very little land with no grass, nothing," said Barnes. "I mean they've even eaten the weeds, and the owner is not supplimenting it with any hay." The sheriff's department says it received a call last week about the animals. When they arrived deputies say one cow had already died and there was no food or water. That's when they contacted the owner of the livestock.

"He claims that he's tried to contact his vet and so forth, but obviously from the pony's appearance he's not been treated by a vet," said Lieutenant Pat McWilliams, Henderson County Sheriff's Department. The pony, who's hooves are six inches too long, could barely stand up. Many of the cows are just skin and bones.

"There's a couple cows that are 300, 400 pounds underweight and that's a lot," said Barnes. Because of the drought, the SPCA says it's seen more animaly cruelty cases this year.

"We're seeing them earlier in the year," said Barnes. "We usually start seeing cases like this in January, and this is our third case already this summer." Today's rescue, the SPCA says happened just in time.

"A couple heffers, maybe two or three weeks and they would be down," said Barnes.  The SPCA says it will take the animals to one of its shelters in Mckinney. The animals will be cared for until the custody hearing, scheduled for October 19th. The sheriff's department says it hopes to get an arrest warrant for the livestock owner in the next couple of days. The owner's name listed on the warrant to seize the livestock is Farmer Joe Thompson.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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