A Humboldt County rancher was arrested Monday after a five-month investigation led authorities to hundreds of malnourished and dead cattle strewn across the suspect’s land.
Humboldt, state and federal officials said they discovered up to 300 deceased cows, some stacked in 10-foot-high piles or heaped in and near waterways, on four properties owned by Raymond Frank Christie.
Many of the Humboldt rancher’s still-living cattle were malnourished, held in cramped quarters and lacked ample access to feed, the county said in a press release. Authorities also said they discovered multiple dogs being kept in unsanitary conditions without water or adequate space to move freely.
Beside the apparent animal abuse, various agencies reported a slew of additional violations on Christie’s properties, ranging from improper disposal of solid waste, illegal stream bed alterations and various building code violations.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office arrested Christie on four charges relating to animal cruelty and the disposal of carcasses within 150 feet of a state waterway. He was booked into county jail on $25,000 bail.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other state agencies will request additional charges as the investigation continues, the press release said.
Christie’s canines were transferred to the care of a responsible party, and nearly 200 of the rancher’s cattle have been placed on hold for repossession by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Officials said they are developing a plan to care for the remaining livestock.
Based on the evidence located, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office arrested Christie on the following charges:
• PC 597(a) – Animal cruelty
• PC 597(b) – Causing an animal to be cruelly killed
• PC 597.1 (a) – Failure to provide proper care to an animal
• FG 5652 – Disposal of a carcass within 150 feet of a state waterway
Christie was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility with bail set at $25,000.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as other involved state agencies will be requesting additional charges as this investigation continues.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding these cases or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445- 7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268- 2539.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 22nd, 2018