Mauk sentenced in animal neglect case

CLINTON — A Clinton man who was set to go to trial this week instead was sentenced Friday on animal neglect charges.

Thomas J. Mauk, 35, 422 Fourth Ave. North, was sentenced Friday on eight counts of animal neglect, no death or serious injury, a simple misdemeanor.

Clinton County District Associate Judge Mark Fowler ordered Mauk, on all eight counts, be sentenced to 15 days in the Clinton County Jail, with 13 days suspended. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively. The State will not resist work release if Mauk qualifies. Fowler ordered 12 months of unsupervised probation with no further law violations or with Mauk possessing or owning any animals. All fines were waived. The State dismissed one count of animal neglect, no death or serious injury.

In the same case, Teresa A. Muhs, 34, 422 Fourth Ave. North appeared in October for sentencing for eight counts of animal neglect, no death or serious injury, a simple misdemeanor. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Srp ordered Muhs on each count to serve 15 days in the Clinton County Jail, with 13 days suspended. An order filed six days after sentencing states the sentences were ordered to be served consecutively. Muhs was placed on supervised probation for 12 months. She was ordered during the probation period to have no violations and to not be responsible for caring for any animal during the probation period.

According to the affidavit, at 7:40 p.m. Feb. 21, 2018, Clinton police officers were called to the residence in reference to a report of animal neglect. Officers made contact with Muhs, who met with officers on the back porch of the residence.

The affidavit states eight dogs all over the age of four months were found inside the residence, which had no working utilities. Muhs said she owned three dogs inside the residence. She said Mauk also owned dogs inside the residence. Muhs said one of Mauk's dogs was killed inside the residence and had already been removed. All the dogs removed from the residence were covered in feces. Several dogs were covered in blood.

The dogs were removed from the home and transported to the Clinton Humane Society. Five dogs were reported as injured by Clinton Humane Society representatives.

The affidavit states that on Feb. 25, 2018, a search warrant was executed at the residence. 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 for one containing a small amount of water. No dog food was found in any of the dog dishes or the empty food bags. Some loose dog food was found on the floor among the feces.

Mauk on Feb. 26, 2018, allegedly admitted that in the past five years he had possessed approximately 40 dogs. Mauk claimed he provided vaccinations to the dogs' offspring himself but had 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 recovered a green binder containing dog sale contracts.

Mauk also allegedly admitted the dogs would fight with each other and suffer injuries. Mauk said because of his mixed martial arts experience he learned to treat the injuries.

"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.