BEND, Ore. -

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office hosted statewide law enforcement officers on Tuesday and Wednesday for training on large animal neglect.

Attendees from the Sheriff’s Offices of Deschutes County, Jefferson County, Lake County, Josephine County, Union County, Gilliam County, Morrow County and Polk County gathered to hear information on livestock neglect cases, ranging from the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of the criminal case. 

This training will assist in successful outcomes to animal cruelty cases which are dependent upon a precise investigation as often times animal cruelty investigations can lead to uncovering other crimes such as drug possession, Capt. Shane Nelson.

Scott Beckstead, Oregon Senior State Director, Humane Society of the United States, covered body condition investigation to include a hands-on practical at Joan Steelhammer’s Equine Outreach Inc. as well as general tips in handling livestock.

Linda Fielder and Emily Davidsohn, Oregon Humane Society:  Shared information on the investigation and documentation of neglect cases.  In addition, Joan Steelhammer, Founder and President, Equine Outreach Inc. (EOI):  Discussed how reputable nonprofit horse rescues can assist law enforcement in locating and assisting in large animal cases.

Scott Heiser, Senior Attorney and Director, Criminal Justice Program of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF):  The former Benton County District Attorney shared updates on Oregon Law, tips on successful search warrant writing, and testifying in court.  He also discussed the resources ALDF can help with such as assistance with legal aspects of county cases and some financial assistance to investigate cases, house animals and prosecute cases.

Corporal Neil Mackey and Technician Laura Conard of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office shared information on large herd seizures and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office’s Livestock Rescue and Shelter.