Limestone Co. Sheriff says man starved livestock herd

Published: Apr. 17, 2014 at 10:38 PM CDT
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The sheriff and investigators found a herd of 50 malnourished cows and the bodies of a dozen...
The sheriff and investigators found a herd of 50 malnourished cows and the bodies of a dozen more. (Source: Limestone Co. Sheriff)

LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Limestone County man is charged with animal cruelty after the sheriff said he practically starved his livestock to death.

It happened on land off Persimmon Tree Road near the Limestone-Lauderdale County line. Sheriff Mike Blakely said his department received multiple tips about cows being neglected both in person and on social media.

Sheriff Blakely said his investigators found three dead cattle at a second location last week and warned the owner, David Wilson Caufman Jr., about the condition of the rest of the herd.

Blakely said about 50 cows were found severely malnourished. Another nine were found dead throughout the property. Buzzards could be seen flying above the tree line off Persimmon Tree Road. The sheriff said Caufman put one bale of hay out for the herd on Friday and was attempting to get more out there today, but said his efforts were too little, too late.

According to the state veterinarian who was out on-site with the sheriff Monday, this was the worst case of starvation he has seen in nearly 30 years. Sheriff Blakely said he won't stand for this type of activity in his county.

"There is no excuse for someone allowing their livestock to get in this kind of shape. We take these type of calls very seriously. We want people to take care of what they're responsible for and we can go on fighting crime like we ought to be doing," he said.

Caufman was charged with animal cruelty and failure to dispose of dead animals. The Sheriff's Department and state officials have set up a plan with Caufman effective immediately to rehabilitate the surviving cows. If Caufman does not follow the plan, Sheriff Blakely said the herd will be seized.

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