The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office seized 33 cattle Monday in Sarasota at the intersection of Lorraine and Fruitville Roads.
Thanks to a strong partnership with residents in rural Sarasota County, Agricultural Unit deputies were notified Monday by a local rancher of possible animal neglect. Deputies responded to the property where they located 33 cattle including several calves, without access to proper food or water. One of the cattle was dead upon deputies’ arrival. The property was primarily dirt with little to no grass or vegetation. Round bales of hay could be seen on the other side of the fence however, none of the animals were able to access it. The standard for care for large cattle is two acres per animal. These 33 cattle were sharing only 11 acres total.
Deputies seized all 33 cattle and transported them to the agency’s Animal Services facility where they now are roaming in a large pasture with access to food, water, and medication. Agricultural Unit deputies and Animal Services personnel are working with a local veterinarian to score the cattle for body condition. Several appear severely malnourished, many with visible spines and bones.
Deputies are working diligently to obtain a verified petition which will give the sheriff’s office full custody of the animals. In the meantime, deputies are also seeking to prohibit the owner from owning any animals in the future. Due to the nature of the ongoing investigation, the animal owner’s name and information is not being released at this time however, deputies are familiar with the owner as they have warned him and issued 11 citations since 2017 for allowing his animals to get loose. The investigation into the care and possible neglect and cruelty toward these cattle is active and ongoing. The sheriff’s office will release more details as they become available.