More than 220 hogs found themselves stuck in traffic Tuesday afternoon. Literally.
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After a semi-truck carrying the animals from Iowa to California broke down near North Platte, Nebraska, local law enforcement and animal control officers were called to tame the situation. The hogs were sprayed with water to prevent heat exhaustion and have been transported to the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Nebraska, where they are currently being held, officials said.
The driver, Stanley Frye, 37, of Bristol, Va., was cited for animal cruelty and driving with a suspended license, police said, and his arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
"It just opens up a lot of questions and concerns as to why the livestock at this point are being shipped from Iowa to California," said Rodney Brown, a spokesman for the North Platte Police Department.
The hogs had been on the road for about 16 hours after being picked up in Iowa at 11:30 p.m. on Monday and transported to the fairgrounds at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Brown said.
They were stacked on a three-level trailer and were showing signs of distress by the time police arrived, according to Brown. Most hogs were lying down, and one hog died after the incident.
Though the initial caller to police complained the animals were making too much noise, Brown said there was "hardly a sound" when police arrived.
"There wasn’t a lot of noise, which was even more concerning," he said. "Out of 225 hogs, there was barely any sound other than one that really had problems grunting."
The hogs will remain at the fairgrounds until a judge rules otherwise, he added.
Frye told police that he had stopped on the road after his truck experienced mechanical problems. He had been waiting for repair parts when he was apprehended by police officers.
"It is going to cost quite a bit by the time it is all said and done," said Chief Deputy Jim Agler with the North Platte Police Department. "We'll try to recover the cost from the owners but they are from out of state, of course, but we are going to try to do everything that we can to make sure we remedy this situation."