Elderly farmer in Gwinnett County could lose his only 'family' - CBS46 News

Elderly farmer in Gwinnett County could lose his only 'family:' his beloved animals

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Police and animal control in Gwinnett County are meeting Wednesday to see if they need to take a farmer's cattle from him.

The farm is at the corner of Spring Hill Road in Buford, near I-85.

A neighbor recently told animal control several dead or near-dead cows were in the pasture. It turns out 10 died from malnourishment.

Farmer John Lamb said it's been a rough winter. The hay he feeds his cattle lacked enough nutrients. "We've had so much rain that it's had a negative effect on the hay," he said.

Lamb has owned 90 acres of land in Buford since the 1950's. At 84 years old, he wakes up each day at 6 a.m. and maintains all his land and animals himself.

Ideally Lamb says he should just have 25 cattle. But, just recently, he had as many as 45.

"I did have a few too many," he said. "I have to admit that."

Corporal Jake Smith with Gwinnett County Police said animal control doesn't want to take Lamb's cattle from him. And he is not going to jail.

"We don't believe there was any sort of criminal intent," Smith explained. "He's 84 years old. He works that farm alone. It might just be an issue of, he doesn't have the resources to care for the number of cows that he has out there."

Lamb says he's already sold several cows. People have also brought hay and other resources to him.

Asked if he would ever knowingly hurt his animals, Lamb said, "These animals are my family. I don't have a family. So they're my family. I look after them day and night."

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