Man may – again – face charges for animal cruelty after cattle found sick, dead in Utah County

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Cattle found underfed, thin, and either unable or unwilling to move in Utah County. A Salt Lake City man could face a third round of animal cruelty charges for this incident. (Utah County Sheriff’s Office)

LAKE SHORE, Utah (ABC4) – A Salt Lake City man, already convicted once for animal cruelty, is again being accused of abusing livestock. According to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, the 63-year-old man has been convicted once, charged a second time, and could face new charges following a new incident.

In May, Utah County Sheriff’s deputies received a report that 10 to 12 calves were in a pasture in the Lake Shore area, west of Spanish Fork, and were starving. Deputies located the area and saw the calves were lethargic and would not – or could not – get off the ground. Several were in a cement ditch and could not get out.

Deputies say they identified the owner of the property and cattle as Jex Lamoyne Hiatt of Salt Lake City. When speaking with him, deputies say Hiatt was aware of the cattle on his property and would have someone take care of them. When deputies returned to the property the next day, one of the calves had died.

Hiatt was issued a citation for cruelty to an animal. He has since been convicted of that violation and is scheduled to serve five days in jail, the Sheriff’s Office says.

In late July, Utah County deputies were again called at Hiatt’s property for more cattle starving as well as cattle running at large. When they arrived, they say they found at least five calves dangerously underweight. About 30 cows and calves were in the pasture, which had inadequate growth to feed them all.

The Sheriff’s Office reports the young calves were also unable to eat “off the meager feed that was there.” Hiatt was again issued a citation for allowing animals at large and five counts of cruelty to an animal. This case is pending in court.

On Saturday, deputies were again called to Hiatt’s property. When they arrived, several dead calves and at least one dead cow were found. Several young calves were reported to be dangerously underweight. On Monday, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office seized a cow and several calves which were taken to a veterinarian in Spanish Fork. One of the calves taken died on Tuesday.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office shared these photos of some of the cattle found on Hiatt’s property. Warning, these images may be disturbing to some, viewer discretion is advised.

SLIDESHOW: Photos of cattle found on Salt Lake City man’s property

According to the Sheriff’s Office, this investigation is still active but it is anticipated Hiatt will face additional charges related to the condition and death of the cattle on his Utah County property. Authorities say they will maintain custody of the sickest of the cattle pending a resolution of this case in court.

“This effort can easily outstrip funds that are regularly allocated for the feeding and care of seized animals,” the Sheriff’s Office says. “Anyone who might be interested in donating hay to help feed these cattle can call the Patrol office of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office at (801)851-4050.”

Earlier this year, authorities in Utah County cracked down on two cockfighting operations. In early May, thousands of chickens were found in an Orem home after authorities discovered the first cockfighting ring. Then, just a week later, a cockfighting ring was found in Cedar Valley. In that incident, 35 received citations.

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