Investigation yields animal cruelty charges and arrests

Joint Investigation ends with arrest – man facing multiple charges

United States Department of Agriculture staff concerns prompted a request to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to investigate allegations of animal cruelty at a farm located at 6559 Trew Hill Road in the Madison County Town of Stockbridge. The request came earlier in the month of March.

USDA representatives reported that they conducted a site visit to the farm operated by Caleb Cottrell, age 32 also of 6559 Trew Hill Road in Stockbridge and their inspection raised concerns for the health of the Rescued Horses being loaded bovine located at the farm.  The visit was prompted after reports were received by the USDA that between February of 2016 and March 2017, approximately 68 cows had been rendered due to death.

Sheriff’s deputies and Investigators worked with the USDA Office of the Inspector General to gather required information and upon review a search warrant was prepared and executed at the farm.  In addition to the Sheriff’s Office members, representatives from the USDA, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Madison County Health Department, Town of Stockbridge Codes Enforcement, a veterinarian, animal sanctuary and animal transportation service organizations assisted.

The conditions of the residence and the farm were deplorable.  Four dead cattle were located in two separate barns. A total of four horses were located in a separate barn. Upon examination by a veterinarian, the horses were deemed to be in distress so they were seized. The horses were transported to a regional animal sanctuary for care and are expected to make a full recovery.

Caleb Cottrell was arrested late last week and charged with 8 counts of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (class A misdemeanors). Caleb and his wife, Tiffany Cottrell, 33, were each charged with endangering the welfare of a child due to their child living in the deplorable conditions of the residence. Caleb and Tiffany were both issued appearance tickets directing them to appear at the Stockbridge Town Court May 11, 2017, to answer the charges.

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