Reeves County Officials Investigating Possible Animal Cruelty Case

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

REEVES COUNTY - A disturbing case out of Reeves County. More than a dozen cattle were found dead and many were pregnant. Now county officials are investigating this as a possible animal cruelty case.

It looked like a scene straight from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds."

Valorie Pandak said hundreds of vultures were hovering near her home out in Reeves County a week ago. She walked towards to her neighbor's ranch to get a closer look.

"I see one dead cow, I see another cow sitting straight up in the air like she just collapsed," she said. "Their mouths were wide open like they were screaming in pain."

Pandak said she saw about 13 cows and one bull dying on her neighbor's property.

But she said what she saw next was horrifying.

"Every momma cow was dead," Pandak said. "There were babies that were still in there. We could see them kicking through the stomach, we were pulling them out and giving them CPR."

In the middle of all this, Pandak called the property owner, desperate to find water for the newborn calves.

But even more shocking is what she said the owner told her.

"He said go to the curb and turn it on. His exact words were 'I haven't been out there in 30 days,'" Pandak said. "He told me four or five times he shut the water off, he gave up on them. I said 'Why didn't you call me?' The only response was 'Take what animals are alive.'"

Pandak and several friends tried saving the newborn calves but the heat was just too much.

After contacting several local and state agencies, the Sheriff's Dept. finally went to the property.

Captain Reno Lewis said the case is still in the early stages.

"If there's a criminal offense that occurred then we'll treat it as a criminal offense and file the charges," he said.

But there are still several unanswered questions surrounding the investigation.

Pandak tells NewsWest 9 the dead animals were finally removed 30 minutes before our interview.

Captain Lewis said he was unaware of this.

"We just have to see what he turns up in the investigation, see if there's going to be any criminal charges filed," he said. "We have to see what's going on first."

But Pandak said animal abuse cases aren't taken as seriously as others. She hopes this one will open the eyes of officials so it doesn't happen again.

"I know law enforcement takes time but the man admitted he did it," Pandak said. "These people out here out of city limits are getting away with murder."

Pandak says the dead cattle also attracted hawks which caused more trouble for her because they were attacking her livestock.

She said she is willing to open a non-profit organization for the county so no other animals have to suffer.