Animal neglect charges filed

A Decatur County man accused in connection with allegations involving neglect of animals was arrested and bonded out of jail. 70-year old James Hamilton, has been charged with three class A misdemeanors of neglect of animals. According to Decatur Superior Court documents approximately 320 sheep were taken as evidence of animal neglect. According to court documents – The sheep are being cared for at Triple R Rescue Ranch. The court ordered Hamilton to pay bond in the amount of $25,000 , not later than August 15th at 4 PM to Decatur County Animal Control. That amount represents an amount sufficient to feed and care for the animals in impound for a 30-day period. Failure to pay the bond by the designated time will result in forfeiture of the animals to Decatur County Animal Control. The State Veterinarian or designee shall make a recommendation to the court concerning whether the continued seizure and impoundment of the animals is necessary to protect the safety and well-being of the animals or the public. A hearing is set for August 16th at 10:30 AM to determine the status of the impounded animals and whether the defendant should pay a bond for the care of the aniumals during the impoundment.

Decatur County Sheriff’s Department released this statement last week –

On 8/3/22 at 11:47am, Deputy Patrick Richards assisted with a Civil
standby/Court ordered repossession in the 4900 block of East County Road 280 North in
Decatur County. When Deputy Richards arrived, he observed multiple neglected animals,
including several dying and/or deceased animals in various locations on the property.
Deputy Richards contacted the Decatur County Prosecutor’s Office and requested
a search warrant for the property. A search warrant was granted and signed by Decatur
County Superior Court Judge Matthew Bailey.
During the execution of the search warrant, approximately 318 live animals were
removed from the property, 24 animals were deceased upon arrival, and 23 were
euthanized on the scene. The malnourished animals were without food and had very little
available water. Numerous animals were also located on the main floor of the residence
and in the attached garage.
Deputy Richards was assisted by Decatur County Deputies, the Greensburg Fire
Department, Decatur County EMA, the Greensburg Police Department, Decatur
County/Greensburg Animal Control, and Decatur County Board of Health.
Also assisting with the care, feeding, and moving the animals were Triple-R
Equine Rescue, including their multiple volunteers, the Metz Brothers Farm, Soy
Processors, Standard Fertilizer, and The Mike Colson Family. Several community
members also offered resources to assist the animals in need.
Criminal charges are currently pending.

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