SCIO, Ore. -- More than a dozen animals are dead after being severely neglected, Linn County Sheriff’s deputies say.
Deputies served a search warrant on Monday in the 4100 block of Shimanek Bridge Drive east of Scio. They reportedly found multiple weak animals amid carcasses of those that succumbed to the poor conditions.
Owner Lynette McConnell, 66, was arrested on 20 counts of first-degree animal neglect and was taken to the Linn County Jail.
The investigation began last week after deputies reportedly obtained enough information for a search warrant. Deputies said the neglect had been happening for quite some time.
Fourteen animals were found dead, including 11 cows, two chickens and a dog. Six cows and two dogs were seized, but one of the cows didn’t survive the night, deputies said. Authorities are working with a veterinarian to try to improve the health of the surviving animals.
Captain Brandon Fountain with the Linn County Sheriff's Office said a concerned individual sent in a picture of McConnell's property.
"We were just out there a bit ago and there was another cow that ended up passing away and the vet is looking at one more that may or may not be put down," Fountain said.
He said they normally don't have to deal with neglected cows.
"We do see on a case-to-case basis where animals are being neglected, but not to this extreme," Fountain said.
One neighbor said the cows were always roaming on other properties, looking for food.
Another neighbor told KEZI the animals belonged to McConnell's husband, who passed away about a year ago. She said McConnell couldn't give them up, but just did not know how to take care of them.
Many in the area said they are heartbroken by this, leaving them to wonder how things got this bad.
Stay with KEZI 9 News as this investigation continues.