Carolyn Lattin and Debbie Lattin, the longtime owners of Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm in Olympia, have been charged with second-degree animal cruelty , a gross misdemeanor, according to their attorney.
Attorney Justin Kover said the two are set to be arraigned in Thurston County District Court next week. Debbie Lattin is set to appear on Monday, while Carolyn is set to appear Wednesday.
Kover hopes to have both women appear at the same time, but that will depend on the judge, he said.
“We look forward to Thurston County dropping the charges,” Kover said in an email. “If we must, we will press my clients' rights to trial and beyond if necessary.”
Kover alleges that a Thurston County Sheriff’s deputy did not follow the law in the animal cruelty case, and that “the Lattins take good care of all of their animals.”
“The charges against Debbie and Carolyn Lattin are categorically false,” Kover said.
Seventeen goats were removed from the farm property last month after a complaint was made about the condition of the animals.
Carolyn Lattin has denied mistreating the goats. She said they use a medicine to treat hoof rot. It heals the animals, but it’s not a cure, she said.
A sheriff’s office incident report, which was obtained by The Olympian Thursday, details the events leading up to the seizure.
After the sheriff’s office received a complaint about goats at the farm in mid-June, it was investigated by Carrie Nastansky, the lead animal cruelty investigator for the sheriff’s office. In the report, she mentions that she has “personally owned goats on-and-off for nearly 23 years.”
Although the sheriff’s office was responding to the recent complaint, there have been seven complaints about the Lattin’s goats in the past two years, the report reads.
Nastansky observed the following: “All of these goats had hoof rot/scald in between their ‘toes.’ The area between the hooves, near the skin, was crusty and oozing pus. Several of them smelled of rotting flesh.”
Nastansky also shot video of the goat herd: “You can clearly see more than half of the goats limping, hobbling and appearing to be in severe pain.”
Nastansky later asked whether Carolyn and Debbie Lattin would be willing to turn the goats over to Hooved Animal Rescue, a group that works with the sheriff’s office.
“Carolyn became irate and told me to leave her property immediately,” the report reads. “She told me that I must know everything since I have previously owned goats.
“I explained that I do not know everything, but I know that saying the disease is incurable is inaccurate, along with blaming the soil itself.”
Nastansky said she was told to leave the property and Debbie Lattin requested to speak to her supervisor.
Nastansky later sought a search warrant and the animals were seized.