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Beaverhead Co. Sheriff: Donated hay for abused animals stolen

beaverhead hay theft.jpeg
Posted at 2:39 PM, Apr 23, 2024

UPDATE: 4/23/2024, 3:02 PM - The Beaverhead County Sheriff's Office reports that hay that was donated for some five dozen abused animals has been stolen from the fairgrounds where most of the animals are being held.

Sheriff David Wendt says about half a ton of hay worth around $300 was missing on April 23.

Almost five dozen animals are being held at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds as volunteers and the Sheriff’s department help the animals from horses to goats, pigs an alpaca, and a llama into good health so they can be adopted.

The animals were found almost a week ago at a property near town that was littered with dead animals. Surviving animals were thought to be consuming stale bread and plastic and they had no access to clean water.

Donations for the care of the abused animals can be made to:

Beaverhead County Sheriff
Animal Rescue
2 South Pacific #16
Dillon, MT 59725


DILLON — The Beaverhead County Sheriff’s office reports hay that was donated for the abused animals recently rescued from what they called one of the worst cases of animal neglect and abuse they've seen was stolen from the fairgrounds.

Last week, officers rescued 47 animals who were living off of trash and dirty water amid animal carcasses on a property near Dillon. The animals were being kept at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds.

Deputies came across the scene while searching for lost pygmy goats and returned on April 16 with a search warrant.

What they found was a scene like something out of a horror movie, including dead goats scattered throughout the property and in a trailer filled with feral cats, a rotting dog in a car, chickens feeding off dead goats, and a goose that had only its bottom beak—the top appeared to be broken off.

Charging documents accuse both Constance and Robert Riley of felony animal cruelty and illegally dumping dead animals and other litter on their property. They appeared in court on Thursday, April 18. Prosecutors say additional charges may be filed when the case heads to District Court in May.

Sheriff David Wendt says the community has been generous with donations of food, hay, and vet services for the animals and soon they will be ready for adoption.

If anyone has information about this situation please call: 406-683-3700