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More than two dozen dead sheep spur sheriff's investigation

YouTube video still. User: Jennifer Weissmuller

More than two dozen dead sheep in northern San Luis Obispo County are at the center of an investigation by the sheriff's office.

The flock was grazing in the Heritage Ranch area near Lake Nacimiento as part of a program to keep grass in check for the summer fire season.

Hikers came upon several of the sick and dying animals and recorded video of the problem, then contacted authorities.

(note: video below may not be suitable for everyone)

The sheriff's office says the flock had been recently sheered by the owner, right before our recent stormy weather. The owner says the animals got caught in the rain showers and became sick.

An investigation into animal cruelty and abuse is underway.