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Not in the job description

Officers take over farm chores

Submitted Photo Berthold Police Chief Al Schmidt, Berthold reserve officer John Vorgitch, and Ward County Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Visocsky volunteered to help feed and care for farm animals at a farm near Burlington for a few days when their owners were in jail. Local citizens have now taken over the care and feeding of the livestock until their owners can return.

Officers from the Ward County Sheriff’s Department and the Berthold Police Department stepped up last week to care for pets and farm animals at a rural Burlington farm after their owners were arrested on child neglect charges.

Ward County Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Visocsky, Berthold Police Chief Al Schmidt and Berthold reserve officer John Vorgitch volunteered to feed the animals until a couple of local citizens who know the farm owners agreed to take over caring for the animals until the homeowners can return, said Schmidt.

Schmidt said he went out to the farm to get the pet cats and dogs and took them to a veterinarian for care. Schmidt said the cats were battling an infection and are being treated.

“After they go through their treatments, we’ll have to decide if the owners can get them back,” said Schmidt. “It wasn’t the best environment for animals, let alone people.”

Schmidt said Visocsky contacted the Berthold police about the situation with the animals and recruited them to help. Caring for animals isn’t usually in the job description for an officer, but Schmidt said they felt they had a responsibility to look after the animals because their owners were in jail and no one else was available to care for them at the time.

The animals are now being cared for by people who have more experience with livestock, said Schmidt.

The owners made initial appearances on the felony child neglect charges on Tuesday before North Central District Court Judge Stacy Louser in Minot.

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