An attorney representing Carolyn Lattin and her well known Lattin's Country Cider Mill and Farm off Rich Road said Wednesday that he plans to request her goats be returned after they were seized following a complaint of animal cruelty.
Seventeen goats were removed from the property after showing signs of possible hoof rot. The animals were removed from the property by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office last week, while care for the goats was coordinated through Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County, a group that works with the sheriff’s office.
The Olympian has been unable to reach Hooved Animal Rescue.
“What happened to her is kind of rough,” Lattin’s attorney Justin Kover said Wednesday. He described Lattin as a longtime farm operator with a sterling reputation. Kover said there has been no animal cruelty and alleged that the complaint stems from a disgruntled employee.
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Under the state’s animal seizure law, Lattin can petition Thurston County District Court for the return of those animals, Kover said. He plans to take that step next week, he said.
Kover said he was introduced to Lattin through mutual friends who were involved with STOP (Stop Taking Our Property) Thurston County, a grassroots group critical of county land-use policies.
Kover said the STOP network is supporting Lattin, and “that network is going to continue to be in overdrive.”
Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Rudloff explained the animal seizure process on Wednesday.
They have a deputy on staff who specializes in animal abuse cases and who acts on tips or complaints about alleged animal abuse, Rudloff said. If the deputy determines there’s a problem with the animals, the deputy can ask a judge to issue a search warrant and seize the animals, he said.
In the case of Lattin’s goats, the deputy and a veterinarian attached to the investigation have completed reports that were forwarded to the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. They will determine whether to pursue charges, he said.
Sgt. Carla Carter said earlier this week that it’s a “pretty solid case.”
Kover said he has concerns about the warrant that “we will address in court.”
Meanwhile, Lattin called The Olympian this week to counter allegations of animal abuse by pointing out the farm was recognized as a “Best Northwest Escape” by KING5 TV for 2017.
She also defended her handling and treatment of the goats. She previously said she used a vaccine to treat hoof rot, but corrected herself to say they use medicine to help the goats.
“We’re not going to cure it but we can heal it,” she said about the hoof rot.