BAXTER, Tenn. - A farmer called attention to a possible case of neglect by taking photos of cattle looking underfed and malnourished.
Eric Johnson grew up on a farm, raising cattle became his passion nearly a decade ago. He learned everything from his mentor and fellow farmer, Mike Herren.
"I had the highest respect for that man, I wanted to be that man until this started happening," Johnson said.
Herren has owned the cattle Johnson raised from calves for about a year. Since they've been in his care, Johnson has seen them waste away.
"These cows were not this way a year ago," he said.
Johnson believed many have lost 200 pounds or more. On Wednesday, one cow's calf died. Johnson said it's because she was too malnourished to feed it.
"He should know that it's wrong but he allows it to happen," Johnson said.
He's called for help several times.
"We have had multiple officers, Putnam County Animal Control out here, state vet has been out here, nothing," Johnson explained.
While NewsChannel 5 was on the farm Wednesday, Herren and a sheriff's deputy showed up. Herren preceded to call in the cattle and feed them but he would not talk to us.
Johnson hoped someone who can care for the cattle sees this story before more of his beloved cattle perish.
"Please help, please. I've exhausted every avenue I know," said Johnson. "They're animals, but they still deserve to be treated humanely."
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office was investigating but would not make any further comments.