Man charged with mistreating calves pleads not guilty - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Man charged with mistreating calves pleads not guilty

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GREEN COUNTY (WKOW) -- The man at the center of the alleged animal abuse investigation makes his appearance in court. 

Chase Klemm is charged with mistreating animals, providing improper outdoor animal shelter from inclement weather, and failing to provide proper food and drink to confined animals. 

According to the criminal complaint, on January 16th, 2018  Klemm's uncle called police to report Klemm for possible animal neglect. 

When officers arrived to the area of W800 Block of County Highway E they found four pens with Holstein calves.

The pens were made of plywood. It had three sides and a plywood top. 

All four pens each had a calf inside. 

Two were dead and frozen to the ground. 

The other two were alive. The deputy said their eyes and bodies had a "sucked in appearance" and that it appeared they were dehydrated and not been fed for an extended length of time. They also had snotty discharge around their nose and eyes as well as frost bite. 

The criminal complaint said there was very limited bedding in the calves pen and no water or any source of feed. There was nothing behind the pen to block the wind. The top of the pen did not completely cover it allowing snow and weather in.
 
The deputy believed if the living calves stayed under these circumstances, they would not survive the night. 

The deputy tried to provide care to the calves by feed them a 20% protein milk replacer. 

The DA drafted a search warrant to seize all four calves.   

When Klemm arrived on the scene he told the deputy that he feed the calves milk replacer and he was out there this morning and then around 4:30 pm to feed them.
 
Klemm said all the calves were alive when he was there. 

The deputy told Klemm that couldn't be true because two were dead and frozen when police arrived shortly after 5 pm. 

All three counts Klemm is being charged with have the same sentence. 

"It is a class A misdemeanor, upon conviction may be fined not more than 10,000 dollars plus cost or imprisoned for not more than 9 months in the county jail or both," said Circuit Judge, James R. Beer.

The two dead calves were taken to Brodhead Veterinary Medical Center where a necropsy would be performed. 

The living calves were taken to another farm to receive care. They were kept in an indoor stall with a heating lamp and blankets.

One of the two surviving calves died the day after being removed from Klemm's care. 

After showing some signs of improvement, the final calve died on January 25, 2018.

Necropsies were performed on all 4 calves. 

The causes of death were determined to be: 
1.) Pneumonia with septicemia, lack of proper fat reserves, and hypothermia are possible causes of death. 
2.) Hydronephrosis, lack of proper fat reserves, and hypothermia are possible causes of death.
3.) With no evidence of feed in digestive tract and no evidence of another cause of death, this calf most likely succumbed to the elements from lack of feed and proper fat reserves.
4.) Chronic pneumonia with septicemia cause of death.

When doing the necropsy on the two calves found dead on Klemm's property the veterinarian could not confirm when was the last time they ate. 

Klemm also owns more than 30 beef cattle that live on land owned by his grandmother. Investigators checked up on those cattle and found them to have sufficient water and food. They also had a Body Condition Score adequate for survival. 

The calves were purchased from Equity Sale Barn a week or two before the incident. 

The state requested A $2,000 signature bond with no special conditions.

Klemm pleaded not guilty. 

He'll be back in court on May 1, 2018. 

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