“We received an anonymous tip from our Crime Stoppers line,” said Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy Dewayne Lassiter. “In fact, we had two calls about the situation at the Lee farm. I don’t think anyone understood that severity of what was going on out there, though.”

When Deputy Dewayne Lassiter left the Scott County Sheriff’s Office on March 7th, he felt like it was going to be a routine day.

“The sun was shinning and we had just celebrated a birthday for one of our officer’s the night before,” said Lassiter. “I was in a great mood.”

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The first order of business on Lassiter’s agenda was to drive out to a farm on the outskirts of Sadieville.

“Like I said, we had some calls about a situation out there,” he said. “But honestly, Crime Stopper calls can be pranks or old information. So it’s pretty routine to go investigate, and then nothing out of the ordinary turns up.”

But on that day, it was anything but “ordinary.”

Here’s more from Lex 18:

Two Scott Countians were in court Thursday to face 37 charges of animal cruelty.

In March, animal control officers seized several animals from a Sadieville farm belonging to Brad and Michelle Lee. They confiscated alpacas, pigs, parrots, horses and more. Investigators say they found a dead horse on the property.

Lee is a nurse in Scott County.

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When Lassiter arrived on the scene, he found Michelle Lee and her husband arguing in the yard.

“I actually thought we were going to have a domestic violence situation,” he said. “But eventually they calmed down. Mrs. Lee didn’t want to show me around the the barn, but she relented. She didn’t want me to see what was going on back there.”

Lassiter said that he can’t forget the sight and the smell inside the Lee’s barn.

“Most of the animals were literally starving to death. I don’t want to go into the gory details, but it was terrible. One horse had literally eaten half a saddle left next to his stable.”

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Both Brad and Michelle Lee will stand trial on August 17.

What’s a fitting punishment for this level of animal abuse?