Tennessee man charged with rustling Calloway County cattle, animal cruelty

More than 40 cattle are back in Kentucky after they were stolen from a Calloway County farm. 

23-year-old Travis Hale is accused of stealing 48 cattle from the Kirksey, Kentucky, farm and taking them to Puryear, Tennessee, to sell. It’s a class C Felony, because the theft is estimated at $33,600. Hale also faces 21 animal cruelty charges regarding the condition of animals on the farm he used to own. Of the cattle taken from Kirksey, 42 have been returned. Six still haven’t been found on the more than 200 acre property.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew says it’s the largest cattle rustling case he’s ever seen.

The stolen cattle, which belong to Gary Brame, were on Hale’s property for less than a day when deputies arrived at his farm. Belew estimates another 100 cattle on the Puryear property belong to Hale. After surveying the land, deputies counted 21 dead cattle. Belew says the abuse they discovered is the worst abuse he’s seen of any animal.

The animals had no water or food. Belew says the volunteer Puryear Fire Department brought water for the livestock, and Brame and some neighbors contributed food for them.

Brame says the condition of the livestock helped him locate his cattle easily. “If you’re around them every day, you know your cattle,” Brame said. The distinctive tags baring the number 100 were removed from the cattle. Police say Hale tried hide them in the mud, but failed.

Brame says he is going the extra mile to make sure his cattle aren’t affected by the conditions of the Tennessee farm by re-vaccinating them and quarantining them from his other cattle.

Belew says he believes Hale had fallen on hard times, as his electricity was cut off this week. Hale’s uncle has decided to care for the livestock until a court verdict is made. Belew also expects more arrests to be made in the cattle theft.  

Things are almost back to normal at Brame’s farm. “It really disappoints me in this individual,” he said. “I guess I’m real disappointed.” Brame says he did know Hale. Hale’s grandfather sold the cattle ranch in Kirksey to Brame 10 years ago.

Hale also faces a charge of theft over $1,000 in Henry County, as well as a charge of unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon. 

To see our previous story, click here

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