MIDDLEPORT, NY-- Dozens of cattle were seized from a Middleport farm by the Niagara County SPCA.
SPCA agents say they seized 45 cattle and two sow from a farm Tuesday on Drum Road. The owner, Richard Heschke, is accused of not providing sustenance to the cattle and is facing 47 animal cruelty charges.
Officials say the animals were thin and weak from a lack of food, and that many would not have been able to survive the winter. Several cattle were also found deceased on the property.
There were several ducks on the property as well.
SPCA Cruelty Investigator Lauren Zaninovich said in a released statement, "The SPCA has attempted to work with the owner to improve the conditions of the animals over the past several months to give him an opportunity to avoid animal cruelty charges. The level of care continued to decline and we had to take action."
A hearing is set for next Tuesday at 7pm in Hartland court.
The SPCA is asking for donations of hay and feed. They're also seeking anyone in the farming community who may be willing to take in some of these animals if custody is awarded to the shelter.
"We hope to have custody of the animals awarded to the shelter. It is clear that Heschke can no longer care for the number of animals on his property. We would like to see them all adopted out to area farms that can properly care for them," says SPCA Director Amy Lewis in a statement.