Mass. man faces 15 counts of torturing sheep in Vermont

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 12:04 AM EDT
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POWNAL, Vt. (WCAX) - A Massachusetts man is facing 15 counts of torturing sheep in Vermont after several animals were found dead at a solar field in Pownal.

According to the Bennington Banner, Benjamin Cumbie, 50, of Boxborough, Massachusetts, is accused of leaving his sheep for over two months without water.

Court documents say Cumbie bought 19 sheep that were delivered on May 31 and 15 of them died. Cumbie bought the sheep for grazing purposes for the Green Mountain Park racetrack solar field. He told officers there was “no need for water” and that the animals got their water from “forage, dew and rainfall.”

The Banner also states that authorities became aware of the issue when they found a loose sheep with an ear tag and traced it back to Cumbie. Authorities visited the solar field the next day to find several dead sheep, overgrown grass and limited shade.

According to the Banner, some sheep were missing their ear tags, most likely from wild animals. The Banner also says Cumbie was asked to come back to the site but it took an extra day because he was on vacation.

Cumbie was in court on Aug. 7 and pleaded not guilty.