UPDATE: 700 cattle seized in suspected neglect case have been sold

The Rolette County Sheriff's Office reports hundreds of animals have been removed from an...
The Rolette County Sheriff's Office reports hundreds of animals have been removed from an owner after a cattle neglect investigation.(Rolette County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 12:59 PM CDT
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ROLETTE COUNTY, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Officials in Rolette County now say those 700 cattle seized in an animal neglect case have been sold at auction.

The animals were taken from numerous counties in North Dakota after an investigation by the Rolette County Sheriff’s Office, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and the North Dakota State Veterinarian’s office.

The Rolette County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant on June 1 after receiving an anonymous complaint of suspected animal neglect. At that time, roughly 500 head of cattle were located and their conditions were documented. Officials say numerous cattle were found dead on the property and there was an insufficient amount of feed for the animals.

“I’ve never seen anything this bad. You’re gonna have cows that die for whatever reason, but there’s no reason for cows to be looking like this,” said Sheriff Nathan Gustafson.

The situation continued to be monitored by Rolette County deputies, which was reported to not be improving. On June 23, the Rolette County Sheriffs Office conducted another search warrant of the same property.

With a court order for owners Steven Nickelson and Tanner and Cameron Millang, deputies say Nickelson surrendered all livestock.

The Rolette County Sheriffs Office contracted third party individuals to care, feed, monitor these animals which were then sold. The sheriff says the money raised from the auction covers the county’s costs for caring for the animals and goes toward the owners’ debt. Anything left after that would go back to the original owner.

The Rolette County Sheriffs Office thanked those who brought this situation to their attention and everyone who helped remove the livestock.

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