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Neglected Cattle Costs Tax Payers

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The Gallatin County Undersheriff said it costs tax payers about $500 a day to take care of the more than one-hundred cattle that sheriffs seized earlier this week in a suspected case of neglect.

The animals are staying at the Headwaters stockyard.

"This could be a significant cost to the county of course, but we do have ways of reserve funds and those type of things that are available to us," said Undersheriff Dan Springer, Gallatin County.

Gallatin County Undersheriff, Dan Springer said it costs about $3,500 a week to take care of the cattle.

"It's $3 for a female cow, $2.50 for a calf and around $4.50 for a bull," said Springer.

"We have special investigative funds that are set aside for special cases like this that end up costing us more than a standard case," said Springer.

Springer said right now the cattle is the county's responsibility.

"That money is for them to house them, feed them and manage them," said Springer. "It's essentially a lot fee."

Kelsey Baver with Sorenson Veterinary Hospital in Belgrade has been taking care of the cattle since they were given to the stockyard.

"They're in critical condition, so we don't want to be moving them too quickly," said Baver. "We're feeding them in separate places and giving them extra nutrition."

Springer said a number of factors need to be considered before the county can move the animals.

"There's the veterinary care, vaccination, tagging and marketing of these cows," said Springer.

A meeting is scheduled on Friday with the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office, County Attorney and the Department of Livestock to discuss the next steps.

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office is still accepting donations for hay. Funds have been set up at American Federal Savings Bank under the Sheriff's Cattle Fund. You can also bring hay directly to the stockyard.

Spectators Bar and Grill in Bozeman is hosting a fundraiser to help out. It's called "Eat a cow, Save a cow." For every burger that is purchased, 25-cents will go toward giving hay to the cows.

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