By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Liberty County Pct. 6 Constable’s Office and Houston SPCA seized 16 cows and three calves Thursday around 10 a.m. at a property located on the 500 block of CR 331 south of Cleveland. Another calf was found dead in the pasture while authorities were serving the seizure warrant.
According to Pct. 6 Constable John Joslin, the condition of the animals was the worst he has ever seen for cattle still living.
“We don’t know until vets look at them if they had a parasite or were just starving. They certainly were suffering from malnutrition. The bottom line is they are in bad shape,” Joslin said. “You can see their hips and rib cages. It’s just horrible.”
Authorities were alerted to the property through tips and obtained the warrant from Pct. 6 Justice of the Peace Ralph Fuller on Wednesday. Joslin said this was the first time he had been made aware of the animals’ plight, but Houston SPCA visited the property twice before and was working on remediating the problem through veterinary visits. However, when they were not satisfied the animals were improving, a decision was made to seize the animals from their animal, Alonzo Herrera.
Joslin’s deputy constables walked the roughly one-acre pasture where the animals were kept.
“We walked all the way to the pond back there. There is nothing for them to eat,” a deputy constable said.
According to Joslin and his deputies, the animals appear to have broken through the fence of a neighboring property in their desperation to find food. All the vegetation on the neighboring property was eaten down to the roots, they claimed.
While Houston SPCA and the constable’s office were attempting to remove the cattle on site, the owner arrived with six more. After they moved the cattle from Herrera’s trailer to the Houston SPCA’s trailer, one of the mother cows, who had been nursing a calf, collapsed in the trailer floor.
Joslin said animal cruelty officers were able to get her back on her feet, but her prognosis is grim.
The owner will have an opportunity to fight the seizure in court on Feb. 27, 1:30 p.m., in the Pct. 6 Courtroom in Cleveland.