Local News

Apex Shepherd Found Guilty of Animal Cruelty

Posted July 21, 2007 7:45 p.m. EDT

— A man charged with neglecting his flock of sheep was found guilty Friday on one count of animal cruelty.

David Watts received three years probation, and he will have to pay $2,200 in restitution. He is also banned from owning animals.

An investigator involved in the case said the courts have yet to determine what will happen to the surviving sheep and Watts’ other animals.

Residents had complained for years about the smell emanating from Watts' property. In March, authorities found 77 sheep at his home, and 30 of the animals were so ill that they had to be euthanized.

Inspectors also said Watts' home was in such disrepair that they found holes in the ceiling, broken windows and no running water on the first floor.

Neighbors said cleaning up the property would help their effort to get the area placed on the National Register of Historic Places.