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Matthew Weihl, Berthold, charged with misdemeanor animal neglect

Matthew William Weihl, 40, Berthold, is accused of failing to keep his cattle fenced in near Berthold. He is charged with Class B misdemeanor animal neglect. The case was originally charged in Berthold Municipal Court but transferred to district court in Minot.

According to an affidavit filed with the court by Berthold Police Chief Al Schmidt, the cattle have gotten loose a number of times and damaged a neighbor’s property and, on one occasion, got loose on the highway and nearly caused an accident. A veterinarian told Schmidt that some of the cattle were undernourished and sick, that the hay they had been provided didn’t look edible and the water tanks were empty. Schmidt said in the affidavit that officers have spoken with Wiehl a number of times about the cattle and they kept getting out.

Weihl and his wife, Hope Weihl were charged with child neglect last fall after Schmidt alleged that their home was dirty and living conditions were unsafe. A Ward County deputy and two officers from the Berthold Police Department had made sure that pet dogs and cats at the farm were taken to a veterinarian for care after the Weihls were arrested. Law enforcement officers also volunteered to feed the farm animals until two citizens who know the Weihls came forward to take over, Schmidt said.

The Weihls entered into a pre-trial diversion agreement with the court in November and the charges will be dismissed within six months if they comply with all terms and conditions of the agreement such as cooperating with Ward County Social Services and maintaining a clean, safe home.

Matthew Weihl is scheduled to make an initial appearance on the animal neglect charge on April 20 in district court in Minot.

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