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Loose livestock keeps Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office busy

<P style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none" class=MsoNormal><span style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Arial', 'sans-serif'"><font size=3>As the drought continues to plague the Arklatex, livestock owners and their animals are feeling the pain.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Dead grass, no hay and thirsty cattle, horses and donkeys, it's tough times out there.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></font></span></P>

As the drought continues to plague the Arklatex, livestock owners and their animals are feeling the pain.  Dead grass, no hay and thirsty cattle, horses and donkeys, it's tough times out there.

As these grazers break out of fences in their search for better grass and water, it's keeping local animal control officers on the run.

The number of loose livestock calls continues to go up.

"We got a call and they were on the road.  I ran and I was trying to run them out the road and ran them down here," said a Caddo Parish Sheriff's Deputy.

When it comes to animals on the run, Sergeant Doyle Smith and his dog Bullet, round them up.

"A lot of them get out because they're looking for grass or water," said Smith.

Just another victim of the drought: livestock and they're owners are both struggling.

"Normally, they have ponds where they can get water and have grass for them to eat, but this year, we're just in bad shape," said Smith.

If they can't find the owner, Smith has to haul the animals off.  Most are eventually picked-up, but for some the cost of hay and feed has gotten too high.

Lost or unclaimed livestock can be held here at the Sheriff's Office pasture. Normally, they're only there for short periods of time.  However, Sergeant Smith says he had his first auction last week with out a single bid.

The donkeys are the first animals Smith has tried to auction off, but couldn't.

"People don't have the grass and the hay to feed them," said Smith.

He's going to try again this week, but he's worried.

"Whatever they bid that's the bid we'll take. If it's 5 dollars, they'll get them for 5 dollars each," said Smith.

If you're in the market for some cheap livestock, the Sheriff's Office posts livestock auctions on their website.

 

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