Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Nineteen head of cattle were seized from a Sumner County man two weeks ago after Sheriff Darren Chambers says they were all emaciated and some were already dead.
Residents in the area began reporting loose cattle two weeks ago. When deputies responded, they tracked down the property where the cows escaped from near 30th Street and River Road.
"They were escaping because they were looking for water and nourishment," Chambers said. "At that point, we were thinking we've already got some down. It's not a question of will they die, they're already dying."
But Dave Jones, the son of owner Herb Jones, disagrees.
"That's not true," Jones said. "They're worst time would have been four days prior. They were watered and fed and they had gotten better. They were up and walking around."
Jones says they discovered the pond on the property had dried up when the sheriff called to notify them of their loose cattle.
"We were hauling water twice a day as soon as we discovered this," Jones said. "My dad had been up here the previous Saturday and everything was fine."
Chambers provided KAKE News pictures of the cattle, which show several of them dead. However, Jones isn't so sure the sheriff's actions aren't what killed them.
"If he was so concerned with their condition," Jones said, "then he would have known moving them at 5:00 on a 105 degree day would not have helped them. It stresses cattle when you move them when it's this hot."
Jones and his dad were most concerned that after 14 days, neither the sheriff nor the county attorney contacted them to give them any reasoning as to why they hadn't returned the cattle. In fact, a court summons showed up on Herb Jones' doorstep while we were interviewing his son on the Oxford property.
The document orders Jones to appear in Sumner County District Court on July 26 to answer to two charges of cruelty to animals.
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