The San Luis Obispo Sheriffs Office announced last week it wont be arresting the veteran rancher after a lengthy investigation that began Feb. 28.
Twenty-five sheep died after a storm, which sparked the investigation into the owners suspected neglect of the animals and whether they were malnourished.
The California penal code is quite clear, said Stephanie Bell, casework director for PETAs Cruelty Investigations Department. If an animal is subjected to needless suffering, that constitutes cruelty, and these animals clearly suffered unnecessarily.
In a written statement released last week, sheriffs spokesman Tony Cipolla said that the combination of high winds and excessive rain led to the death of what were most likely the weaker animals in the herd.
But Bell said that its not acceptable that weaker animals werent protected but were left outdoors in cold, windy and wet conditions after shearing.
Sheriffs officials said the rancher typically sheared his sheep each year around the time some were found dead. His flock totaled about 6,500 sheep.
Bell believes the shearing which she said is stressful for animals under normal weather conditions could have been delayed based on inclement weather forecasts.