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Owner of seized cows charged with animal cruelty

Human Society of Washington Co. says 5 cows starved to death

Human Society of Washington Co. says 5 cows starved to death

January 17, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN ? The owner of 34 cows seized last month by the Humane Society of Washington County has been charged with animal cruelty after an investigation revealed five of them starved to death and the rest were underfed, according to Washington County District Court documents.

Gregory Charles Wiles, of 14740 Big Bend Way in Williamsport, was charged with five felony violations of causing the cruel killing of an animal and 29 misdemeanor violations of failing to provide sufficient food and drink, court documents show. He was served a warrant on the charges Jan. 10 and released on his own recognizance, court records show.

In charging documents, the complainant, Humane Society director Paul Miller, said he observed signs of neglect among Wiles' Holstein heifers at two locations in December. Buckeystown Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Karen Miller examined Wiles' cows at farms on College Road and Neck road and determined they were "chronically and habitually underfed," Miller wrote in charging documents.

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On Dec. 7, the day after 15 cows were seized from the College Road farm, two of those cows died, Miller said. On Dec. 12, the Humane Society seized 18 live cows and one dead cow from Neck Road, and on Dec. 17, two of those cows died, he said.

Necropsy results showed all five dead cows were "in poor or very poor nutritional condition, emaciated, had serious atrophy of fat, internal parasites, malnutrition, dehydration, and/or gross findings very compatible with starvation," Miller wrote.

Wiles said by phone on Thursday that he felt he was innocent and thought the Humane Society was acting out of its jurisdiction.

"I intend to prove that I took the best care I could of those animals under the circumstances," Wiles said, adding that he entered several of his cows in the Maryland State Fair in August and one placed third out of 20.

"Me and my wife, we have full records," he said. "We feel we've done everything to take care of these animals."The Washington Co. Human Society

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