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Two people charged with animal cruelty in Beaverhead County

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Posted at 10:59 AM, Apr 19, 2024

DILLON — Robert and Constance Riley appeared in Beaverhead County Justice Court on Thursday, April 18, 2024, each facing a felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty.

The Rileys were arrested on Tuesday at their property on Chreston Lane about 11 miles west of Dillon.

A Sheriff's deputy said it is worst animal cruelty case he has seen in nearly 30 years of law enforcement.

Court documents say deputies found rotting animal corpses and animals living in several feet of feces when they served a search warrant on the property on Tuesday.

The animals that were still living allegedly did not have access to fresh water and were being fed trash and bread wrapped in plastic.

According to court documents, deputies found the following among the numerous buildings and trailers on the property:

  • A dead goat that had apparently been decaying for some time laying in a pen
  • A trailer attached to the pen that was approximately three feet deep with feces, with parts of dead goats sticking out of the top
  • Pigs that appeared to be covered in skin sores, one of which struggled to walk
  • Dead animals scattered across the property that were decayed beyond recognition
  • Pens containing a heavily overgrown alpaca, a dead, decayed goose and a live goose with its top beak broken off, all of which were living on a plateau of compacted feces
  • A car with a heavily decayed dead dog
  • A camper littered with peacock feathers and "at least one" dead sheep decayed across a bed

Several cats that appeared feral were also located on the property and were unable to be captured. A total of 47 animals, including geese, alpacas, pigs, and horses were seized from the property.

Additional charges may be added before the case heads to District Court.