By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
SUMMITVILLE, Ind. —
Police and emergency agencies were working Tuesday night to clear dead animals and save still living animals from a barn in northern Madison County.
Cows, ponies, rabbits, ducks and chickens were among the animals found by officials on a property on County Road 1700 North just west of County Road 350 West near Summitville, said Madison County Sheriff Ron Richardson.
Richardson said he had no number on dead or living animals found on the property, but called the cleanup “a very large operation.”
“Right now, we’re in an assessment mode,” Richardson said. “We’re trying to remove some of the dead animals from the area and get the animals that are still alive someplace safe and secure.”
The Sheriff’s Department received calls from neighbors and passers-by who claimed to have seen carcasses on the property.
After obtaining a search warrant, the Sheriff’s Department inspected the property and found several carcasses in a barn that seems to have been unattended for days. To reduce risk to inspectors and animals, a hazardous materials team and Madison County Emergency Management Agency were both called out to assist.
“We’ll have a much better handle on the situation in the morning when it’s light. There will be a state veterinarian here then, and we’ll have more information,” Richardson said.
Law enforcement was also attempting to identify and locate the property owner for questioning. Richardson said there’s no explanation for the state of the barn.
Richardson also said County Road 1700 North has been closed to traffic and will be until the operation is complete, so he asked motorists to avoid the area. He said he will hold a press conference Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. where more information will be released.
The Herald Bulletin will continue to update this story.