La Grande psychiatrist accused of shooting trespassing cattle


LA GRANDE — The authorities arrested a La Grande psychiatrist accused of shooting seven cows — six fatally — that were trespassing on his property.

The Observer newspaper reports that 57-year-old Joel Rice was arrested Thursday after an investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with aggravated animal abuse and criminal mischief.

Capt. Craig Ward told the newspaper that Rice was “pretty upset” when he came home Aug. 15 to find cattle blocking his driveway.

Ward said the seven cows belonged to several different owners and loose animals have been a problem. The area was previously open range, but Rice led an effort to create a livestock district and a closed range.

Ward says the remedy for trespassing cattle is to call the sheriff’s office. He added that livestock owners are generally good about getting their animals back home.

Rice is free until trial.


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