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Prosecutors: Man abused 31 petting zoo animals at roadside farm stand; 6 died

BRANDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Prosecutors said a Michigan man abused 31 farm animals, six that died.

Andrew Scott, 32, of Brandon Township, was arraigned last week and faces up to four years in prison.

Oakland County officials said the animals were from a petting zoo at a roadside farm stand.

According to investigators, a witness familiar with horses alerted Oakland County Animal Control officials to the condition of the animals in October, after observing two miniature horses at the roadside petting zoo were thin.

Animal control officials obtained a search warrant on Oct. 24 to go onto Scott’s property in the 4500 block of Ramsey Road, which is near the roadside stand. Animal control officials, accompanied by 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 animal control officials 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, animal control officials 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 Dec. 4, animal control officials obtained another search warrant, which officers executed that day on Scott’s property. Upon arrival, officials 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 were being cared for at a farm with which animal control officials contract.

Six of the 31 animals died.

Scott entered a plea of not guilty, and he was released on $2,500 personal bond.

Scott will appear in court again on Dec. 20.

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