By Shelby Stewart
Brandon Twp.-On Dec. 13, a 32-year-old township man was arraigned on a charge of animal cruelty and neglect of 10 or more animals, which is up to a 4 year felony.
Andrew Scott was arraigned in 52-2 District Court in Independence Township.
The Oakland County Animal Control investigation found 31 farm animals in his care, six of whom have died.
A woman who was familiar with horses told OCAC about the condition of the animals in October when she saw them at a roadside petting zoo, stating that the two miniature horses were too thin.
A search warrant was obtained and OCAC, along with a vet and Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Brandon substation deputies, visited his property to examine the animals. The vet conducted tests and found that the animals all have worms and they needed to gain weight. Scott was advised of this and given time to correct the problem.
After 30 days, OCAC tried to contact Scott, though he failed to respond. On Dec. 4, OCAC obtained another search warrant and searched the property with Brandon deputies.
“It was animal control’s case,” said Lt. Greg Glover. “We just helped out.”
Glover and other law enforcement, along with OCAC, found five deceased animals on the property, one rabbit in the bushes, two calves in a pen in the barn with living animals, and two goats outside, one of which was in an advanced state of decay. One of the calves that was seized that day passed away later that night.
“Those animals have to be buried within 24 hours,” said Glover.
All of the 25 animals that were seized, seven sheep, six miniature horses, six goats, five rabbits and a donkey, and are living on a farm with which OCAC contracts.
Scott told police that one of the animals had only died within the last 24 hours, though it was frozen solid and partially snow covered.
Scott entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment and was released on a $2,500 bond. While this matter is pending, he may not be responsible for or in possession of any animals.
His preliminary examination is scheduled for Dec. 27 at 1:30 p.m.