Garrett County, MD man charged with 94 counts of animal cruelty


Generic file photo of cow. (Getty Images)

OAKLAND, Md. — A Garrett County man has been charged with a total of 94 counts of animal cruelty-related charges after the animal control division of the Garrett County Sheriff’s Department performed at search and seizure warrant on his farm.

According to a release sent out by the sheriff’s department, Chester Gaither Jr. has been charged with 94 counts of animal cruelty and failure to provide proper care after deputies performed a search warrant stemming from multiple citizen complaints the animal control officer received.

When deputies arrived at the farm, they found a “suspicious area of disturbed earth” which was a burial site for 15 dead cattle. In order to determine if the cattle died as a result of malnutrition, a femur was taken from each of the bodies and tested, deputies said.

Bone marrow density testing later confirmed that the cattle had died as a result of malnutrition, and 16 other cows at the farm which were still living were assessed by a veterinarian assisting deputies on scene to be malnourished and in poor condition, according to the release.

Of the 47 cattle found either dead or in poor condition on Gaither’s property, 23 of them had been given to him as a result of a previous animal cruelty case of one of Gaither’s relatives in Garrett County, deputies said.

Gaither was not arrested upon execution of the search and seizure warrant, but was given a summons to appear in court in relation to his charges.

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