Charges dropped against ‘Annie the Highway Cow’ owner


By Sam Wildow

[email protected]

MIAMI COUNTY — Charges of animal cruelty were dismissed this week against Cory A. Morris, 44, owner of “Annie the Highway Cow” and of the Critters of Griffin’s Willow Farms.

Morris was first charged in May 2020 with six counts of second-degree misdemeanor animal cruelty related to two search warrants executed on May 18 and May 26 of last year at the property he owns at 2620 S. Rangeline Road, Ludlow Falls.

Following the search warrants, Morris agreed to re-home 23 ducks, two donkeys, one cow, and seven pigs to other livestock owners who took possession of the animals, according to previous reports from Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak. Morris retained four miniature ponies, eight potbellied pigs, several cows, and some chickens.

On Monday, Miami County Municipal Court Judge Gary Nasal dismissed the charges of animal cruelty against Morris. The charges were dismissed following a motion to suppress hearing.

Morris was also found guilty on Monday in Municipal Court of fourth-degree misdemeanor failure to confine a domestic animal. He received a $75 fine plus court costs with the stipulation to have no like offense for two years, according to court records.

“We’re thrilled the charges were dropped,” Morris said on Wednesday regarding the animal cruelty charges. “Our legal team worked very diligently.”

In a press release from Morris, he stated the charges stemmed from “an unfounded complaint from PETA.” He added it was “disheartening” to learn of PETA’s involvement.

According to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, on May 18, 2020, “deputies found the condition of the residence to be in complete disrepair, animal carcasses decomposing both inside and outside of the residence, dirt, filth, and conditions making the residence unfit for habitation.”

When deputies visited on May 26, a report stated that “Morris had made the requested changes with respect to properly feeding, watering, and sheltering the remaining animals. However, the Miami County Health Department condemned the residence.”

Morris responded to the allegations regarding the animal carcasses and attributed the carcasses to the animal mortality composting process, which he said he is licensed to do. Morris said the carcasses that were found were in the various stages of decay. There were also some young calves they lost to pneumonia that were in cold storage, Morris said.

“When you just see it happening, it’s a little jarring,” Morris said about the mortality composting process.

Morris previously responded to the reports regarding the residence on the property, saying the building was not lived in and has been used as basically a barn and storage for many years.

On Wednesday, Duchak said his department and he stood by their original investigation and reports. He said the property has since been cleaned up.

Following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Morris plans to take “Annie the Highway Cow” on more meet and greet events. They plan on making an appearance at Covington’s Fort Rowdy event near Labor Day weekend.

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