After receiving the notice of the strayed animal, it is the duty of the sheriff to reasonably investigate the identity of the true owner. The sheriff or authorized peace officer must examine the brand records, and all reports of lost, strayed, and stolen farm animals. If the owner can be determined, the sheriff will return the animal to the rightful owner and collect for all expenses and damages incurred by the strayed animal. If the owner cannot be found, the sheriff is authorized to sell the strayed animal at a federally inspected livestock auction market. Before putting the strayed animal up for auction, the sheriff is required to publish a description of the strayed animal in a local newspaper for at least two (2) consecutive weeks. When the strayed animal is sold, the sheriff will pay you for all expenses and damages incurred.
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