CLINTON — A Clinton man accused of animal neglect is facing an additional 20 charges, including failure to have a breeding permit.
Thomas J. Mauk, 34, 422 Fourth Ave. North, already was charged with six counts of animal neglect, death or serious injury, a serious misdemeanor; and three counts of animal neglect, no death of serious injury, a simple misdemeanor. The 20 newest citations, filed by the city of Clinton, allege nine counts of failure to license a dog, nine counts of failure to vaccinate against rabies, one count of failure to report a dog bite and one count of failure to have breeding permit. A court appearance is set for 8 a.m. March 8.
Teresa A. Muhs, 33, whose citation address also listed as 422 Fourth Ave. North, was charged with nine counts of animal neglect, no death or serious injury.
The charges against both stem from the Feb. 21 discovery of nine dogs, one of which was deceased, at 422 Fourth Ave. North.
According to a court affidavit, at 7:40 p.m. Feb. 21, Clinton police officers were called to 422 Fourth Ave. North in reference to a report of animal neglect. Upon arrival, officers made contact with Muhs. She met with officers on the back porch of the residence and refused to allow officers inside the residence. Officers were overwhelmed with the odor of feces emitting from inside the residence. Muhs admitted the floor of the residence was covered in dog feces. Muhs said the residence did not have functioning electricity or heat but claimed the water utilities were still on. It was determined later that the residence did not have functioning water utilities.
The affidavit states eight dogs, all over the age of four months, were found inside the residence. Muhs said she owned three dogs inside the residence. She said Mauk also owned dogs inside the residence. Muhs stated one of Mauk's dogs was killed inside the residence and had already been removed.
The officer's attention was directed to one dog found deceased in a trash can on the back porch of the residence. The deceased dog was found covered in blood and feces. Muhs said the dog was killed as a result of a dog fight inside the residence, which occurred just prior to police arrival. Officers did not find any animal waste in the lawn, leading them to believe the dogs remained confined inside the residence.
The affidavit continues that with the permission of Mauk and Muhs, eight dogs were removed from the residence by Clinton Humane Society representatives and volunteers. All of the dogs removed from the residence were covered in feces and several dogs were covered in blood. All nine of the dogs, including the deceased dog, were transported to the Clinton Humane Society.
Each of the recovered dogs was assessed by a licensed veterinarian. Three dogs were found to be uninjured. Five dogs were found with injuries. The five dogs with injuries had wounds at different stages of healing, allegedly showing the injuries occurred over an extended period of time. All eight dogs were treated with antibiotics and pain medication. Five dogs found with wounds requiring additional medical attention were treated by the licensed veterinarian.
The affidavit states that on Feb. 25, a search warrant was executed at 422 Fourth Ave. North. Officers found feces on the floor in every room throughout the residence. Officers observed what was believed to be dried blood on the walls, floors and appliances. Dog dishes were found empty except one containing a small amount of water. No dog food was found in any of the dog dishes or the empty food bags.
The affidavit continues that at 2 p.m. Feb. 26, Mauk was interviewed at the Clinton Police Department. Mauk admitted he had been an unlicensed dog breeder for five years. Mauk allegedly admitted his residence had been used to breed dogs. He added he profited from the breeding, advertising and sale of the dogs' offspring. Mauk said in the past five years he possessed approximately 40 dogs. Mauk claimed he provided vaccinations to the dogs' offspring himself but failed to begin a course of disease prevention and immunization against common disease under the direction of a licensed veterinarian as required by the city of Clinton. Officers, while executing the search warrant, recovered a green binder containing dog sale contracts.
The affidavit states that on Feb. 21, the night of the discovery, that Mauk admitted he and Muhs had nine dogs confined in the residence at 422 Fourth Ave. North. There were five male dogs and four female dogs. Mauk said he and Muhs do not own all nine dogs confined in the residence but admitted they were caring for all nine dogs. Mauk said the nine dogs were left to walk about the residence without separation from each other.
Mauk admitted the dogs would fight with each other and suffer injuries. Mauk stated because of his mixed martial arts experience he had learned to treat their injuries. Mauk said when the dogs suffered injuries he would treat them himself instead of seeking treatment from a licensed veterinarian. Mauk said that in the past, one of his dogs suffered bites to its ears, front forelegs and head, and that he treated the injuries himself. Mauk described another dog's injuries to its foreleg, snout and mid-chest and that he treated the injuries himself. Another dog's injuries to its face and legs also were treated by Mauk.
The affidavit continues that Mauk admitted the electricity and water utilities at the residence had been shut off since November 2017. Mauk said he and Muhs had not been living at the residence since November 2017 but claimed they would go to the residence regularly to care for their dogs.
"Mauk admitted he has neglected the basic needs of all nine dogs and because of his failure to properly care for his dogs they have been forced to endure severe pain," the affidavit alleges.
The affidavit states that on March 1, Mauk was interviewed at the Clinton Police Department. Mauk admitted he was breeding dogs without a permit as required by the city of Clinton. He admitted three of his dogs suffered bite injuries from his other dogs which required medical attention but failed to report the dog bites as required by the city. Mauk also admitted he failed to license his nine dogs as required and that he failed to vaccinate his nine dogs or provide proof of rabies vaccinations as required by the city, according to court records.