The Ravalli County Undersheriff said he began seeing an increase of animal neglect cases in the Bitterroot Valley when the economy took a downturn.
More than 50 animals were seized in Hamilton on Monday due to what Undersheriff Steve Holton said is a case of animal neglect. Donkeys, ducks and yaks were among the many animals seized from a 74-year-old male with failing health.
Holton said cases of animal neglect are also more common in the winter months.
"I don't want to say it's common. It's not necesarilly willfull neglect. It has a lot more to do with the harsh winter stock tends to yield, when the winter is that hard and when it's been as cold as it's been," Holton said.
Volunteers helped transport the animals to ranches throughout the valley. He said if you find yourself in a situation where you can't care for your livestock, call the humane society closest to you.