Authorities believe vandals are responsible for an incident at a central Iowa livestock farm last weekend that led to the death or injury of several hogs. It happened sometime after 4 p.m. Saturday on a farm managed by Don Struthers from Collins.
Struthers’ son-in-law, Eric Finch, arrived for chores on Sunday to discover hundreds of hogs that were let loose, roaming fields and ditches. He noticed tire tracks in a field and believes vandals chased the hogs with a vehicle. "One set of tracks appeared to have something being drug underneath it," Finch says, "and when the sheriff’s department showed up and started examining, they determined it was probably a pig that was wedged under the vehicle and being drug through the field."
A few hogs were killed, while at least 15 were badly injured. Finch says since Sunday, they’ve discovered more hogs with internal injuries and have euthanized about 10 of the animals. Finch continues to monitor the hogs, who were market-ready, but says – overall – nearly 35 were badly hurt or had to be euthanized.
"Most of them were 250 or 260 pound pigs," Finch said. He estimates the loss at $3,000 to $3,500. But, Finch says the loss of money is not what’s important to the family. "It’s one thing to turn animals loose…because that’s just a hassle for us to go round them up and put them back, but when you take your vehicle and cause injury and willfully do it – to run them down and injured them so badly that they have to be euthanized…it’s just terrible," Finch told Radio Iowa.
Struthers Farm, several county farm organizations and the family’s feed supplier have combined to offer a $1,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.