News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Scio veterinarian charged with animal neglect

Updated 07/21/23

A Scio veterinarian has been charged with felony animal neglect after more than two-dozen sheep he possessed were allegedly injured or killed through mistreatment.

Brian James Dietrich, 43, was charged July 12 in Linn County Circuit Court with 27 separate counts of second-degree animal neglect, each carrying up to five years in prison.

Dietrich is the owner of Scio Animal Clinic, which he opened in 2017, as well as Scio-based Dayspring Farm.

He is also vice president of Oregon Sheep Growers Association. The Canyon Weekly has reached out to the association for comment but did not hear back by press time.

A press release from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office said deputies received a tip about multiple sheep in various stages of neglect on the 40000 block of Rodgers Mountain Loop, near Scio. 

On June 12 they found 27 animals who had been neglected for a lengthy period of time, some of whom were deceased, while others had rotting hooves or injured chests from being unable to stand. The animals also had no access to potable water. The only water available contained algae and bugs, said the release.

The animals were seized and eight were so injured they could not walk far without needing to lay down. Authorities are working with animal care professionals to help the surviving sheep recover.

Dietrich was arrested July 11 and released from the Linn County Jail on the condition that he have no livestock or pets in his personal care while he awaits trial. According to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board, his veterinary license remains active through the end of December.

At the time of his arrest, Dietrich was on probation after having pleaded guilty in 2022 to choking a woman in a domestic violence incident in late 2021 in front of a minor child. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation, and he is scheduled Aug. 7 for a probation violation hearing.

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