After the death of 17cattle in Dothan, animal cruelty charges have been filed. The Sheriff's Office originally responded to the call but once they saw the number of dead cattle, state agriculture investigators got involved. After forensic testing, it was determined that malnutrition was the cause.
Charges have been filed for two people--17 counts of animal cruelty and 17 counts of failure to burn or bury the animals. William Williamson and David Cobb have warrants out for their arrest. Neighbors say they don't believe any of it was malicious but rather a mistake.
Captain Gonzalez says crimes of this nature have been on the rise... And the help of the agriculture unit has been necessary.
"It relieves some of the investigative issues from our deputies cause usually it's going to be our street deputies or our patrol deputies that are dealing with that which will lead to our investigative deputies dealing with other issues within that issue. It is a manpower and time restraint issue for us," said Houston County Sheriff’s Office Captain Antonio Gonzalez.
The unit was created just last year to help with the upswing in agriculture crimes. Since it was started the unit has recovered over a million dollars in livestock and equipment. If you would like to report a rural crime you can contact that agriculture unit at 1-855-75-CRIME.