A herd of 140 Hereford cattle taken from home a week ago are expected to return following a brief investigation and meeting between the rancher, his neighbors and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.
The animals were found to be in poor shape when officials and a veterinarian responded to the tip from a concerned citizen last week. The cattle were underfed and three needed to be euthanized as the sheriff’s office moved the animals to a new location.
The animals were taken to Headwaters Stockyard in Three Forks, Mont. where they were allowed to return to health. Donations assisted the officials who were paying nearly $500 daily to feed the animals. Community members additionally offered pasture land and supplies to care for the livestock.
NBC Montana reports the rancher cooperated during the investigation and said the lack of care for the animals was a result of unfortunate circumstances. He agreed to an action plan with neighboring ranchers, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Livestock which includes occasional checkups by the sheriff’s office.
A request for the release of the animals to return home is scheduled for the end of the week.