Authorities Seize 37 Dogs, Four Horses in Animal Cruelty Investigation

Creston woman under investigation for possible felony and misdemeanor cruelty to animal charges

Law enforcement authorities are investigating a potential animal cruelty case in Creston after 37 dogs and four horses were seized in unlivable conditions, according to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Chuck Curry said a 70-year-old Creston woman is under investigation for possible felony and misdemeanor cruelty to animal charges.

Sheriff’s deputies and animal control officers responded Feb. 15 to a report of potential animal cruelty and discovered 21 dogs living inside the woman’s residence and another 16 dogs that were living in her vehicle. They animals had not received proper care and were living in very poor conditions, Curry said.

“The conditions in the home were among the worst deputies and animal control officers have ever seen,” Curry said in a press release. “Many of the animals were in poor health.”

The dogs were all seized and transported to the county animal shelter where they are receiving treatment. One of the dogs had to be euthanized due to its condition, Curry said. Four miniature horses were also seized from the residence due to their poor health and living conditions. They are also receiving treatment.

A Wilsall lawmaker has introduced a bill that would require owners to pay for the care of animals seized during cruelty investigations.

The bill by Republican Sen. Nels Swandal would require a civil hearing within 21 days of the seizure to determine if it was justified and, if so, the amount of bond an owner must pay to care for the animals.

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