Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Prosecutor: An ‘Unprecedented’ Case of Animal Death and Cruelty

A domesticated rabbitAuthorities in Madison County are faced with what is being described as an “unprecedented” case of animal death and animal cruelty discovered on a rural farm some 68 miles outside of Indianapolis.

The case was opened on April 9, 2013, when deputies responded to a call about some dead animals in a barn. What they reportedly found were dead horses, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, cats and dogs, three of which were sent to Purdue University to determine cause of death. By Wednesday a thorough search of the property had uncovered as many as 100 dead animals.

While burying the dead animals, deputies and animal control personnel found a septic tank with even more carcasses of animals such as chickens, goats, cows and ponies.

Some 30 malnourished animals found, including eight horses, two ponies, one llama, six sheep and rabbits, chickens, turkeys, pigeons, geese and ducks, have been described as “walking skeletons.” Those were taken into custody by Animal Care and Control.

Farm owners, Daniel Ault and his wife Carrie, say the entire thing has been blown out of proportion, that the animals all died of natural causes and “unforeseen circumstances.”

Animal neglect is a felony in Indiana, punishable by up to three years in prison. Stunned prosecutors expect to bring many counts of animal cruelty in this case.

The Aults were working on plans to open a meat processing plant in Grant County. Draw your own conclusions, however gross.


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