Man charged in deaths of petting zoo animals
Brandon Township, MI (WJRT) — An Oakland County man is charged for reportedly abusing 10 or more animals
The county’s animal control division says the investigation involved a total of 31 farm animals.
32-year-old Andrew Scott of Brandon Township was arraigned last week and faces up to four years in prison.
The county tells ABC12 the animals were from a petting zoo at a roadside farm stand.
Details of the investigation are as follows:
A witness familiar with horses alerted OCAC (Oakland County Animal Control) to the condition of the animals in October after observing two miniature horses at the roadside petting zoo were thin. OCAC obtained a search warrant from 52-2 District Court on October 24 to go onto Scott’s property in the 4500-block of Ramsey Road which is near the roadside stand. OCAC, accompanied by Oakland County Sheriff Brandon Township Substation deputies and an equine veterinarian, executed the search warrant the following day.
Investigators observed several thin animals on Scott’s property. The veterinarian conducted tests on site and took fecal samples from the miniature horses. From the fecal samples, he determined the animals were loaded with worms. The veterinarian advised OCAC to have Scott begin veterinary care for the animals, increase their food intake to gain weight, and check on them again in 30 days. Neither the veterinarian nor investigators on scene believed that the condition of the animals warranted confiscation at that time.
A month later, OCAC repeatedly attempted to contact Scott via voicemail to schedule a site visit to check on the progress of the care of the animals. He failed to respond to those messages. On December 4, OCAC obtained another search warrant from 52-2 District Court which officers executed that day on Scott’s property. Upon arrival, OCAC discovered five deceased animals (two calves, two goats, one of which was in an advanced state of decay, and a rabbit). One of the calves seized that day died that night. The remaining 25 animals that survived included seven sheep, six miniature horses, six goats, five rabbits, and a donkey. They are being cared for at a farm with which OCAC contracts.
Six of the 31 animals have died.
Scott entered a plea of not guilty, and he was released on $2,500 personal bond.
Scott will appear in court again on December 20.