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Sick calves rescued in Luzerne County

Luzerne County SPCA is caring for more than two dozen cattle following an animal cruelty investigation. Officials say it's one of the worst farm cases they've seen.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — More than two dozen calves and a goat were rescued from a property near Hunlock Creek after state troopers were alerted to a possible cruelty situation.

Once humane officers arrived, they found the animals living in unsanitary conditions without food or water.

"Some had no water at all, they require water 24/7. There was no hay for them when I was there the initial day, Wednesday, no food, nothing. So when I saw what I saw, it was time to move them," said Vickie Vangorder, Humane Society Officer.

Officials with the Luzerne County SPCA near Wilkes-Barre say two of the cows did not make it. The remaining 28 have a long road to recovery.

Veterinarians believe the cattle have illnesses such as pneumonia, salmonella, and e-coli infections, all of which are contagious.

"They are in very critical shape. Not so sure that all of them are going to survive, but we're doing our best that we can to make sure that happens," said Vangorder.

Todd Hevner is the Executive Director at the SPCA of Luzerne County.

He says while the organization is often called to farms, this is one of the worst cases of neglect he's seen.

"The difference is, rarely do we seize as many as we're looking at. We've certainly taken horses that were in deplorable conditions, but we're talking two, three horses. 30 head of cattle, completely different story for us," said Hevner.

Officials say it's always important to report any cruelty you might see.

"You know this came together because if you see something, say something. Our officers and this organization are only as good as the information coming into us," said Hevner.

According to humane officers, the investigation is ongoing. They do expect to file charges in Luzerne County.

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