Florida dairy farm investigated after animal abuse seen in undercover footage

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 10:45 PM

(Getty file photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
(Getty file photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Deputies from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a Florida farm after footage leaked by animal-rights activist group Animal Recovery Mission appears to show farm workers mistreating dairy cows at Larson Dairy Farm in Okeechobee County, according to WTVT.

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The video and an accompanying letter allege that workers beat cows on their torsos and heads to increase milk production, using their hands and feet as well as blunt objects like construction rebar. ARM claims the investigation began in August.

In addition to publishing the findings on their website, the group mailed their claims and evidence to the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office. Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen addressed the video and his office’s response in a press conference today, promising a thorough investigation of the alleged abuse.

ARM claims that their operatives were encouraged to abuse the animals by owner Jacob Larson himself, saying that workers “beat the cows into submission” in teams.

Sheriff Stephen expressed some skepticism at those claims, insisting that owners Jacob and Woody Larson “would not condone this activity had they known about it. They’d have fired them on the spot.”

They appear to have done just that one Larson Dairy employee has been fired and two have been suspended since the release of the video, according to the Treasure Coast Palm. The dairy farm is also investigating the video and the employees pictured in it.

Publix, which used the Larson farm as a supplier of milk, has ended its relationship with the farm around the allegations. At this time, the farm is still producing milk.

The full video released by ARM can be found here. [WARNING: This video contains graphic content.]

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McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is back with an app

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:14 AM

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake has been available at some restaurants since early February.
McDonald's
McDonald’s Shamrock Shake has been available at some restaurants since early February.(McDonald's)

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is back at some locations this week. 

USA Today reported on Wednesday that the fast-food restaurant has brought back the popular minty treat

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This year, there is no other flavor. In 2017, the restaurant had four Shamrock Shake flavors outside of the mint one: frappe, chocolate, hot chocolate and mocha. Instead, McDonald’s is offering a Shamrock Shake Finder app on iOS and Android so customers can locate the popular dessert.

“Fans simply need to download the app and from there, locate participating restaurants locations, swap Shamrock Shake-themed stickers and raise a shake with friends to toast St. Patrick’s Day,” McDonald’s said of the app in a Feb. 12 news release. “In addition to helping fans find the nearest Shamrock Shake, the app also features a brand new camera mode, featuring an augmented reality (AR) experience for iPhone X.”

The Shamrock Shake was introduced in 1970 and is typically only available for a limited amount of time, disappearing around St. Patrick's Day.

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

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Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

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Police: Student was punched, spat on before dorm stabbing

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:35 AM

Georgia State University student Sean Rowtham is accused of assaulting another student in a fight. The other student was also charged in the incident, according to the GSU police chief.
Fulton County Sheriff's Office
Georgia State University student Sean Rowtham is accused of assaulting another student in a fight. The other student was also charged in the incident, according to the GSU police chief.(Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

A Georgia State University student walked up to another student, spat on him and punched him before the suspect stabbed him multiple times in a university dorm, the school’s police chief said Thursday.

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University and Atlanta police responded to a call about the fight Tuesday, GSU police chief Joe Spillane said.

Nakia Roach was found in the the laundry room of a dorm with multiple stab wounds. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition. The other student, Sean Rowtham, was located by police in the dorm lobby and detained.

“After interviewing witnesses,” Spillane said, “it was determined that the two males know each other and had an ongoing dispute. The male who was stabbed was actively looking for the male who stabbed him.”

When he found him, Spillane said, Rowtham was holding a knife at his side.

Rowtham took the knife out as soon as Roach walked into the laundry room, but he didn’t hold it in a threatening way, according to the chief.

“Roach is about twice as big as Mr. Rowtham,” Spillane said.

Rowtham has been charged with aggravated assault in the incident. Roach has been charged with simple battery.

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Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM

(KIRO7.com)
(KIRO7.com)

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

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But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

>> Related: Argument over dog’s weight turns deadly at Missouri sports bar

With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

>> Related: Shepherd, lab mix found tied to tree with note attached to collar gets adopted

He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

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