Animal Cruelty Charges for Calf Left to Die?
In the morning of September 12, an employee of the Kochville Township Gander Mountain happened to notice a calf in the dumpster behind the store. The Sheriff’s Department was notified, and Animal Control was called in. The calf was still alive, but only barely.
Although the calf still had a faint pulse when the Sheriff’s deputies arrived, it died by the time a veterinarian arrived. The calf, thought to weigh between 80 and 100 pounds, was apparently severely emaciated. However, it had no physical signs of external injuries. It is speculated that starvation and dehydration played a role in it’s death.
According to Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel, the Sheriff’s Department intends to pursue criminal charges in this matter. The calf’s death is being classified as an animal cruelty case. The Sheriff’s Department will be conducting their investigation jointly with the USDA.
The Michigan animal cruelty statute forbids the neglect or abandonment of any domestic or farm animal. The law also prohibits allowing a vulnerable animal to suffer any form of unnecessary neglect, torture or pain. A vulnerable animal would be one that is old, diseased, maimed, incurably sick, physically disabled or non-ambulatory.
According to law enforcement, the calf did have a U.S. Department of Agriculture tag in it’s ear. Authorities are saying that it can be traced to a farm in Stanton, located in Montcalm County. No other information has yet been released.
Under Michigan law, because this involved only one animal, it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail. Also fines of up to $1000 and up to 200 hours of community service.
In addition, the Human Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for any information that leads to the arrest, capture and prosecution of anyone involved in this alleged animal cruelty case.