January 28, 2012
Gary Nichols pauses in front of one of Moffat County’s oldest structures, the Murphy Family Barn on Ranney Street. Current owner Dave Seely believes the barn was built in 1895. Nichols and Seely go back more than 30 years when the two worked together at the Seely family’s cattle ranch in White River National Forest.
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Last year was an active one for the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office concerning livestock investigations. In addition to being home to one of the state’s largest cattle theft cases in recent memory, Moffat County was also the site of the first confirmed case of Equine Piroplasmosis in state history. Equine Piroplasmosis is a parasitic disease that affects horses, mules, donkeys and zebras. It’s most prevalent in South and Central America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, and causes fever, anemia, jaundice, swollen abdomens and labored breathing in infected animals. Equine Piroplasmosis is most commonly transmitted by ticks, but has been widely spread of late through contaminated hypodermic needles used on racehorses.