OR rancher indicted after dead, starving cattle found

The indictment against 55-year-old Michael Hockensmith of Hermiston includes 14 counts of first-degree animal neglect

A local family is bringing the idea behind old fashioned milk bottles back to life. (KOIN)
Cows in a field. (KOIN)

HERMISTON, Ore. (AP) – An eastern Oregon rancher has been indicted by a grand jury after authorities say they discovered dead and starving cattle.

The East Oregonian reports the indictment against 55-year-old Michael Hockensmith of Hermiston includes 14 counts of first-degree animal neglect and 186 counts of second-degree animal neglect.

Each count in the indictment represents one animal in the herd.

The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office says that on Jan. 7 deputies went to Hockensmith’s Cedar Creek Cattle Company and found 14 dead cattle and 15 others too malnourished to be safely moved from the pasture.

Sheriff Terry Rowan says $30,000 has been spent on feed and vaccinations, but three more animals have died.

Hockensmith is scheduled to appear in court in early April.