Missouri man charged with animal abuse, threatening police

February 3, 2022 GMT

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A rural Joplin man has been charged with animal abuse and threatening police after more than 50 animals were taken from his property, Newton County authorities said.

The man was on a 96-hold for a mental health evaluation when he threatened to “blow up the police department” if any animals were taken Tuesday from his property south of Joplin, The Joplin Globe reported.

Newton County deputies and the Humane Society of Missouri workers took 57 dogs and a few cats while serving a search warrant Tuesday.

Many of the animals were malnourished, had inadequate shelter and little or no access to water or food, authorities said. Several dead animals. some freshly killed, also were found from the property, according to probable cause affidavits.

Newton County Prosecutor Will Lynch charged the 24-year-old man with a misdemeanor count of animal abuse and a felony count of making a terrorist threat Wednesday while he remained committed for the 96-hour hospital hold.