When investigators arrived together with local law enforcement at the sale at 11:30am, the temperature was already close to 100 degrees. Many of the animals showed severe signs of heat stress. Despite the brutal temperature, many of the animals were put in pens without water. Investigators located some buckets to water some of the horses and cows. The animals were incredible thirsty. In one of the small pens inside the pig barn, investigators found three dairy cows left without access to water. They were in appalling condition, panting, emaciated with hip bones clearly visible. One of them was lying flat on her side. When investigators approached her, she did not attempt to get up and appeared very weak. Investigators observed the pen from a distance to see if someone from the auction would address the situation, but nothing happened. Only when investigators were spotted by pen personnel they attempted to appear proactive, turning on water faucets for animals and moving the distressed cows into a pen with a filled water trough. It is completely unacceptable to leave high risk animals such as “slow cows” and large sows in pens without water on a 104 degree day, especially since pens with access to water are readily available at the auction.
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