BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Authorities in Butler County are investigating recent farm animal injuries and deaths.
It was reported late Wednesday afternoon in the 7700 block of Gray Road in Reily Township, just south of Oxford. According to sheriffs, a caller stated some animals he was keeping at the farm had suffered cuts and lacerations.
How those injuries came about was unknown. The Butler County Sheriff's Office says the attack on the animals likely happened this past weekend.
In total four sheep are dead, four more were injured, and two horses also suffered cuts to their necks.
***It's our policy to not show graphic images of animals suffering so the images of the sheep in this story didn't sustain these major injuries.***
Brittany Kolb says this all started when she found that two equipment batteries were stolen from her family's farm last Saturday night. After taking a closer look at the animals on that farm, they realized their problem was much more serious.
"Theft is one thing but animal cruelty is on a whole other level. In my opinion, it's on a whole other level of sickness," said farm owner Brittany Kolb.
All the animals including some that received minor injuries have been moved from the barn to the Kolb's other residence. The family says it appears all the wounds of the injured sheep and horses came from someone using a sharp blade like a hatchet.
"Who could do something like this to animals? I can't imagine inflicting injuries or pain to animals," said Kolb.
Investigators and the sheriff's animal control officer visited the barn on Gray Road to try and dig up any clues. Kolb says whoever is responsible for this needs to face the consequences.
"Everybody that goes up the road throws up a hand. Everybody is a friend, and it's just really scary to think that you might know the person or know of them," said Kolb.
Kolb and another neighbor FOX19 spoke to say there's been a random trend of suspicious activity over the last couple weeks. This includes fires at abandoned barns, tires slashings and a few thefts. Kolb says whether these are related or not, it's certainly raising some eyebrows.
"I think it's important that people know. Make sure that your doors are locked, make sure your cars are locked, make sure your barn is locked," Kolb warned.
Kolb says she and her family have created a Facebook page to try and bring awareness to this and other cases of animal cruelty. She's hoping it may even help law enforcement track down those responsible for harming her animals. (WARNING: Images posted on the page are graphic) - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Animal-cruelty-and-thefts-in-Reily-Ohio/191176634365362
Authorities say they don't have any suspects in the case, and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this incident, or who has recently experienced a similar type of incident, is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (513) 785-1300.