TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Stray cattle have been roaming all over Trinity County for years, and Sheriff Woody Wallace says it's time for them to go.
Law enforcement seized 40 head of cattle that once ran loose through various county properties Friday. East Texas News met with Wallace to discover what comes next.
Cattle that once roamed aimlessly through Trinity County have finally been captured.
"None of these cattle are marked or tagged," Wallace said.
Wallace said since he took office in January, he has received numerous complaints about cattle running loose across property in the apple springs area. For about the past six months, Trinity County officials have been working to track down the animals that routinely roamed through 1,000 acres of land owned by a timber company.
The landowner reported these cattle had been out there for the past several years, and they've been fighting with different people about whose cattle they are," Wallace said.
It took law enforcement about two and a half hours to capture 40 head of cattle, and Wallace says there are at least 50 head of cattle still running free.
"We got them corralled up, then loaded up, and we brought them to another corral in another part of the county, Wallace said.
Now that the cattle have been rounded up, Wallace said they are working to track down the owners. According to Texas stray laws, the county has to hold the animals for 18 days. After that, they will go to auction.
"There about three different landowners who own some of these cattle, but they've been out there for several years, the cows look like they've never been worked on by anybody," Wallace said.
The cattle owners will have to pay a heavy price. Wallace said the owners will have to reimburse the county and pay for property damage.
"Their cows have trampled through their property, eating their hay, damaging their hay crop, damaging fences, trying to go through fences trying to get food," Wallace said.
Now authorities are working to keep the land clear and land owners happy.
Wallace said the county is also receiving complaints about stray horses in the National Forest lands. This means law enforcement will be cracking down and soon begin a criminal investigation.
Wallace said another problem is with people abandoning dogs and cats. He said it costs the county about $100 to dispose of those animals. He warned that his office will criminally prosecute people who abandon dogs and cats.