Owner of Animals in Court
Maries Co. Sheriff expects charges soon in animal abuse case
***UPDATE 5:45 P.M.*** A Maries County farmer accused of starving his horses, dogs, and other farm animals may soon face criminal charges, but he still insists he did nothing wrong. However, the Sheriff's Office and Humane Society filed their reports with the prosecutor on Tuesday. George Davis, the animals' owner, appeared in court Tuesday to sign over the right to the animals seized from his farm. Davis also denies allegations that he starved his animals to death. Instead, Davis is blaming the tough economic times for the situation and the drought for a lack of food. "It's probably been a month or two," said Davis. "All I can get was straw." The Humane Society and Sheriff's Office seized 40 animals last Thursday and documented numerous pages of animals near the brink of death. "In this pen, hogs were eating on the dead horses," said Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman. "It was a very disturbing scene." Heitman said one horse was shot six times and left to be eaten by other animals. Davis says he had more than 100 farm animals on his 180 acres of land prior to the seizure. He told ABC 17 News repeatedly he did not do anything wrong and wishes he could have the animals back so he could at least sell them for money. The Maries County Sheriffs says Davis could be facing numerous charges of animal neglect and improper disposal of animal remains. The charges would all be misdemeanor crimes, with a maximum penalty of one year in county jail or a $1,000 fine. ***ORIGINAL STORY*** The owner of malnourished animals seized from a Mid-Missouri farm will appear in court Tuesday. George Davis Jr. will appear at 11 a.m. in Maries County where he will have a chance to object to the fact the Sheriff's Office took neglected animals from his property and put them in the care of the Humane Society. Davis still has not been formally charged as the prosecutor is waiting on a report from investigators. Last week, authorities rescued about 40 animals from a farm located on Highway 63 north of Vienna in Maries County. Officials also found several animal remains on the property.