Ravalli County Sheriff's Deputies served a search warrant on Monday, March 10th on a property near Hamilton under investigation for alleged animal neglect.

Undersheriff Steve Holton said the department was assisted by volunteers from the Bitterroot Humane Society in rescuing various domestic animals that had not been properly cared for during the recent cold and snow.

"Yesterday, we seized 17 cows, 21 sheep, various birds, and two yaks," Holton said. "The Bitterroot Humane Society actually coordinated the rescue effort and the animals have been farmed out to areas around the county where they're being properly fed and cared for."

Holton said the Ravalli County Attorney's Office has filed a felony complaint charging the owner of the property with one count of aggravated animal cruelty. The investigation indicates the owner is a 74 year-old man in failing health who may have been unable to properly care for the animals.

"Now, it's a bit of a waiting game until the county attorney actually files the charges against the individual, and there's some sort of resolution."

The suspect's name has not been released, as he has not yet made an official court appearance.

Ravalli County Undersheriff Steve Holton