On Tuesday the news was bad. Over 100 pigs found dead. Authorities suspect starvation, the farmer says disease. Either way, the carcasses were discarded like trash. On Thursday, the news was worse. The body count increased by upwards of 40 animals. All under the care of Wade Franklin.
Friday, Franklin moved out of his house. Neighbors say after two eviction notices. The home is located just 50 yards from where even more dead pigs were found Thursday. The bodies were in even worse condition than those found over the weekend. Simply left to rot in the pens that they used to live in.
He declined to comment on camera, but when asked why he didn't just bury the hogs, his father-in-law, who was helping him move, shot him a glance and said "That's a good question." Wade shuffled a bit, looked to the ground and said, "I'll admit I didn't properly dispose of the bodies."
"Yeah, we knew about it," said neighbor Cuindra Collier. She and her friend Jordan Howard say Franklin let the pigs starve. "We were walking by and we heard pigs squealing and lots of racket and noise and we went in there and they had no water, no food, no nothing. And they were just there starving. So I got a bucket and gave them water and it took about 30 minutes to get them to calm down to where they had water and stuff," said Howard.
But the intervention wasn't enough. Within a month the animals were dead.
"It makes me sick and I wonder how in the world people can treat living creatures this way," said Lubbock Animal Services Supervisor Laura Forsythe. She's seen cruelty cases for six years, but says understanding the rationale behind the behavior remains a mystery. "The mentality?" puzzled Forsythe. "I don't understand it. I wish I did. It just doesn't make any sense at all."