Animal Cruelty Trial Enters Third Day

A trial in an animal cruelty case involving multiple cows and horses seized from a rural Saline County property enters its third day on Friday.

Saline County Sheriff Deputy James Akin spent much of the day the testifying on Thursday.  Akin was the first officer on scene back in April of 2018 to investigate a complaint that animals were possibly being neglected.

Akin testified he contacted his supervisor after seeing multiple cows and horses which appeared to be in need of care. He said many appeared to be emaciated, with their ribs and spines clearly visible. He also said there were dead animals. Akin contacted his immediate supervisor, and the Salina Animal Shelter was also contacted.

After entering the property Akin ended up euthanizing a cow which was down and appeared to be in distress. The defense contends the cow was in labor.

A veterinarian from Lindsborg who specializes in large animals also testified. He had been called to evaluate the animals. He never entered the property, but evaluated the animals by observing from the road. He said some were within close proximity while others he used binoculars to observe. On a scale of 1 – 9, with a rating of 1 being the worst and 9 being the best, he evaluated the majority of the animals at between a 2 – 4 rating.  Among the animals he observed was a dead calf, which had appeared to have been recently delivered.

The case dates back to April of 2018 when authorities executed search warrants for a pasture located southeast of Salina at Lapsley Road and Woodward Road plus a residence in the 5000 block of Country Club Road and seized 189 animals.

Matthew Fullen is facing multiple charges which include both felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty.

The investigation began when a concerned citizen reported seeing dead cattle in the pasture.

The trial continues on Friday.