Starving livestock seized
Dead, emaciated animals found during cruelty investigation
The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service carried out a search Friday morning on rural property northwest of Elk, in north Spokane County.
SCRAPS responded to complaints about the condition of about 75 animals, including horses, llamas, cows, sheep, goats and dogs.
Animal protection officers received complaints of alleged animal cruelty and were continuing their investigation at the site, 42505 N. Bruce Road, until late afternoon Friday.
A number of dead animals were also found. Some had decayed to bones.
The scene included penned animals lacking proper food, said Nancy Hill, the director of SCRAPS.
A veterinarian examined the condition of each animal and rated all of them either thin or emaciated, the bottom ratings in veterinary medicine, Hill said.
Large animals were being taken to an emergency shelter at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center in Spokane.
SCRAPS was assisted by two volunteers from the American Humane Association, who flew to Spokane for the raid, and volunteers from the Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team based in Spokane.
Officers will continue to investigate potential charges of first-degree animal cruelty, a class C felony carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, or second-degree animal cruelty, a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to $1,000 or 90 days in jail.