Veterinarian report expected in alleged animal cruelty case


Veterinarian report in alleged animal cruelty case expected

HAMILTON, Mont. - The Ravalli County Sheriff's Department said a veterinarian's evaluation on animals seized in an alleged animal cruelty case is expected out soon.

Dozens of animals, including cattle, sheep and crossbred yaks were confiscated from a west side farm last week. Chancy Ralls, 74, faces felony animal cruelty charges.

Many of animals that were confiscated have been transported to foster homes. Eleven sheep remain penned at the fairgrounds.

Diane Coon is a neighbor of Ralls and a friend of the family. She said Ralls has a history of not feeding his animals enough.

"I think the accusations of cruelty and severe neglect are spot on," said Coon. "They needed to take the animals. It's been going on for too many years."

Coon said she has tried to help Ralls through the years. She said he suffered a broken hip and has had heart trouble. She said he is now in a rest home.

Neighbor Louise Parker said she doesn't think Ralls intended to neglect his animals. But she thinks the charges are warranted.

"Because he was warned," she said. "He was warned several times."

But some witnesses said it didn't appear some of the animals looked to be in that bad of condition. Some neighbors and friends said Ralls did care for his animals.

He is scheduled to appear on a warrant on March 24.

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