As a result of an investigation by the Whatcom Humane Society (WHS), 5 counts of animal cruelty have been filed against a local farmer for starving his animals.
According to documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court today, when a WHS Animal Control Sergeant and Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) veterinarian recently visited Snookbrook Farms on Kickerville Road, at least 28 animals were discovered to be starved and some starved to death.
Dairy farmer Seth Snook admitted he was unable to afford to feed the cows and conceded they were a “couple hundred pounds underweight” according to the charging documents. The WSDA veterinarian concluded the cows’ condition had been the result of “at least six months of neglect.”
The WHS Animal Control Officer said there were carcasses and skeletons of dead cows along with shallow mass graves on the property.
Snook is being charged with 5 counts of animal cruelty associated specifically with the conditions of 4 dairy cows and one deceased pig.
WHS seized 23 cows on April 19th. Transporting the cows was difficult in their poor condition and 5 had to be euthanized according to statement from the Animal Control Officer.
When contacted by phone this evening, Snook was unaware of the specific charges filed today. He was disappointed the cows had been taken saying, “they should be out eating the green grass.” When asked if starving for 6 months was an accurate assessment, he said it was not and a veterinarian would be able to tell. Snook said he’s owned cattle for 25 years and been dairy farming for 11 years. “Animals have been my life,” he said.
The Dairy Farmers of Washington issued a press release today that stated, “The Dairy Farmers of Washington support the actions taken by the Whatcom County Human Society and the ongoing investigation by law enforcement.” The press release also noted, “The animals have been rescued by the Whatcom County Humane Society and are under veterinary care.”
Snook is to appear in Whatcom Superior Court on May 12th for his first appearance.