71 pigs, 16 goats seized from Terrebonne ranch; owner cited on animal neglect charge
Tip led to search warrant; woman caring for a sick husband; “It got to a point where it was too much for her”
TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) — Following an indication of possible animal neglect, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputies raided a ranch in Terrebonne on Friday and Saturday, confiscating 71 pigs and 16 goats and citing their 73-year-old owner.
Deputies have been executing a search warrant at a ranch on the 500 block of Tenth Street for the past two days, Sergeant Jason Wall said. They have been told of possible neglect of farm animals such as kune kune pigs, guinea pigs, and dairy and meat goats.
“We received a tip from a person trying to help care for the animals,” Wall said.
During the investigation, deputies noted that livestock on the approximately 17-acre ranch “needed urgent intervention, namely veterinary care and proper forage.”
The animals were taken to the 23-acre Sheriff’s Office Rescue Ranch on Rickard Road east of Bend, which serves as a rehabilitation center for neglected, abandoned or abused livestock. Wall said they are receiving veterinary care and appropriate food.
The owner was issued a subpoena in lieu of custody for second-degree neglect of the animal, the sergeant said, and the case is being referred to prosecutors for review.
Wall said the woman was caring for her very ill husband, and while MPs noted the “animals were in poor condition,” he added, “This is less of a criminal case as it’s more about her and the to help animals.”
Wall said MPs “removed every single animal that was in poor health or required veterinary care.” Veterinarians and other groups helped on site.
“We left four Highland cattle on the property to graze on the advice of a local vet who said they were fine,” he said.
Wall said the animals were “only fed alfalfa hay,” which was not a suitable feed and left the pigs “very, very emaciated.” Also, he said, their “hooves are not in good shape.”
But the sergeant also noted that the deputies “found evidence of some animals that had passed by”.
“It got to a point where it was too much for her,” Wall said. A friend who is a veterinary technician had told her she was overwhelmed, he said.
In fact, Wall said “we’ve offered her her help before,” but he added, “She’s proud.”
The woman was at the scene Saturday as the moves were underway, and Wall said a proxy said she was “very grateful” and “in a way, almost happy” to receive the help.