BOZEMAN — A 35-year-old Bozeman woman is now behind bars after officers removed 67 animals from her property over the weekend.
“And then they had two or three trailers, like horse trailers, and they were loading up the sheep, goats, and whatever else, menagerie they had,” explained neighbor Eldon Berkland.
Berkland just moved into the neighborhood and never expected to see what he saw.
“The defendant is responsible for a large-scale animal cruelty operation involving 67 animals,” stated Bradley Bowen with the Gallatin County Attorney's Office.
Kami Rheiman was charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty on Saturday. But she was already in police custody on a probation hold, and Berkland had just moved near Rheiman.
“We love the area — tree-lined streets, quiet neighborhood, we thought,” Berkland said.
According to court documents, officers removed 3 cats, 4 kittens, 8 dogs, 9 puppies, 2 lizards, a fish, a chinchilla, a ferret, 2 turkeys, 8 geese, 8 ducks, 19 sheep, and a goat from the home.
The animals reportedly did not have access to food or water, except through a toilet bowl in the basement.
“They kept a low profile. The only thing we were wondering, see their property borderlines a trail we walk back there. And the sheep and the goats came there and we have even remarked, boy they don’t have that much grass to eat there because it’s been so dry, so we had a little bit of concern,” Berkland said.
Rheiman's bail was set at $100,000 in addition to her previous bond amounts for two prior, pending animal cruelty charges. Her next court appearance is scheduled for August 28.