Brian Freeman: Southwest Florida cattle owner charged with animal cruelty

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- A southwest Florida cattle owner faces animal cruelty charges after authorities found some 80 emaciated cows and calves in a small pen.

Brian Freeman, 44, was arrested Thursday. He's charged with causing cruel death, pain and suffering to animals and confinement of animals without sufficient food or water. One cow and several cows died and one bull was near death.

Officials say it took cowboys and herding dogs more than two hours to corral the cows. They were put on trailers and taken to the Lee County Sheriff's Office impound lot for treatment.

Deputies say the ribs on some cows were protruding.

A concerned citizen alerted authorities to the situation.

Freeman was released on bail. It wasn't clear whether he has an attorney.

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