Sheriff Gets Grant to Care for Rescued Livestock

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Sheriff Gets Grant to Care for Rescued Livestock

From Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)
January 2011

Oregon's Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a $3,900 grant from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The agency says the money will be used to care for neglected, abused and abandoned livestock that are seized during investigation.

"It is unprecedented for a county sheriff to operate an animal rescue and manage the care of animals seized in criminal cruelty cases," Scott Heiser, director of ALDF's Criminal Justice Program said. "Congratulations ... Sheriff Blanton for possessing the vision to make this model a reality."

Oregon recently ranked among the top states for its animal protection laws in ALDF's 2010 State Animal Protection Laws Rankings report. Congratulations, Oregon, for being a leader in animal protection!

From KTVZ.com:

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a $3,900 grant from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The agency says the money will be used to care for neglected, abused and abandoned livestock that are seized during investigations.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is a national organization based in California that fights to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system since 1979.

As part of the Animal Legal Defense Fund program, they have funds available to law enforcement that help offset the cost of investigating animal abuse and neglect cases.
Scott Heiser, the fund's senior attorney and director of its Criminal Justice Program, toured the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Livestock Rescue & Shelter and expressed his support for the large-animal rescue operation and the agency's investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases.

“It is unprecedented for a county sheriff to operate an animal rescue and manage the care of animals seized in criminal cruelty cases," Heiser said. "Congratulations … Sheriff Blanton for possessing the vision to make this model a reality.”

The sheriff’s office is committed to ensuring that all animals are treated humanely and are being provided care that is in accordance with the Minimum Care Standards, as set forth in ORS 167.310.

Lt. Shane Nelson said the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will respond to all complaints. Complaints should be made through non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.

"The sheriff’s office will respond to all reported animal abuse complaints and conduct an on-site investigation," Nelson said in a news release. "When we find animals that appear healthy, have adequate food and water and the owner confirms that necessary vet services are provided, we will inform the concerned citizen that proper care is being given."

"Or, if we find that the owners have fallen on hard economic times, we will connect them with agencies that can help provide food and care for the animals," Nelson added.

"However, if the animals are thin, emaciated, injured or without food and water, we will initiate a criminal investigation," the lieutenant said. "In this case, we will consult with a vet to determine if there are medical reasons for the condition of the animals. We will send our reports to the District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges."