SALEM, Ohio – Animal cruelty charges were to be filed this week against a Crawford County, Pa., woman after state police discovered 29 dead or dying Holstein cattle in a barn under her operation.
Kept inside? Ronda Hatcher’s farm neighbors tipped off state police in Meadville Feb. 14.
According to reports used to get a search warrant, William Goodenow, who operates a farm nearby, told deputies he went to the farm because he knew Hatcher kept cattle but he had not seen any outside for some time.
Goodenow told officers there were dead cattle at the farm and several others appeared to be starving and neglected.
Goodenow also said he hadn’t noticed any feed deliveries to the farm for some time.
Shocking discovery. Three days later, police searched the premises at 22771 South Beaver Road in Beaver Township, near Conneautville.
The farm is known locally as the old Casbohm family farm and is currently operated by Hatcher.
Police discovered 21 dead cattle inside the barn, three dead cows outside, and five animals described as “barely alive” by Corporal Lee Formichella.
Starving. The animals appeared to have starved to death and had no feed or water, Formichella said.
Formichella said the five cattle found alive “could hardly move” and were euthanized Feb. 17.
Charges. Hatcher’s neglect equals cruelty to animals under Pennsylvania law.
The summary offense is punishable by up to $750 in fines and up to 90 days in jail for each of the 29 charges.
(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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