BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas – The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office said nearly 40 cows were found dead on a property off County Road 809.
The exact count stood at 37 on Monday, more cows died Sunday and Monday, Sheriff Bo Stallman said.
“At the veterinarian’s recommendation, no cattle have been moved to allow these cattle to recuperate,” Stallman said.
According to the Sweeny Fire Chief, firefighters were called to the property on Friday around 4 p.m. He said there was no water to be found. Neighbors tell KPRC 2 they tried giving the cows water after the cows charged their fences.
On Monday, the unpleasant task of burying the dead cows started. Crews competed with buzzards as heavy equipment was brought to the scene to move the carcasses and dig graves.
Susan Dancer with Texas Blessings Animal Rescue is an animal cruelty investigator not affiliated with the case. She said cows can not go without water for very long.
“In this kind of heat they start seeing serious effects in the 12 to 24 hour range and beyond 24 hours in the heat, if they don’t have any kind of shade it can be deadly,” said Dancer.
Firefighters distributed roughly 4,000 gallons of water to hydrate the remaining cows. Firefighters were asked to continue distributing water to the cows for the next several days. It is unclear how many days the cattle have been without water.
“We should be checking our livestock and water sources every day, twice a day,” said Dancer.
KPRC 2 is not naming the owner, because charges have not been filed.
That owner has been served with a notice to appear at a hearing on Thursday to determine whether or not the County will seize the remaining 60 or so living cows.
The owner was seen proactively working on the property, but did not wish to comment. The Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office said this is an active criminal investigation.
The sheriff’s office believes it will be a lengthy investigation and will include a necropsy of one of the dead cows, to confirm cause of death.