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Mar 12, 2014 1:55 PM by KSBY Staff

Animal neglect investigation still active after sheep video posted online

An animal neglect investigation outside Paso Robles continues after a flock of 25 sheep were found dead on Heritage Estates earlier this month, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office. Adam Weissmuller from Paso Robles says he was walking his dog near Nacimiento dam late last month when he found dozens of struggling, dying sheep, which he says were sheered and seemed too thin. He posted the videos online because he was disturbed by what he saw. Officials with the sheriff's office say the 53-year-old veteran rancher told them he always sheers his sheep this time of year. "Those that appear on there (the video) appear to be very thin. That may or may not be unusual for those types of animals this time of year, especially with the drought conditions we have," said Commander Jim Taylor with San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office. The rancher told sheriff's officials the animals became ill and died after a major rainstorm hit the area. The ranch owner also told KSBY News that the storm was to blame. The sheriff's office says the rancher "tends to a flock of 8,500 sheep. Of those, 700 sheep were grazing on about 3,000 acres of land in Heritage Ranch as part of a fire suppression program." "It's possible for a person not familiar with livestock to view them and feel that they are in a weakened condition when in fact they might not be," Commander Taylor said. The investigation is still active and ongoing. It's being led by the Sheriff's Rural Crime Task Force.So far, no charges have been turned over to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office.    

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