NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. (CBS13) — More than 300 birds and a pig are being treated after they were seized by animal control officers from a feed store in Nevada County. The animals were allegedly mistreated, starving and diseased.
The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office says the store owner could face charges. He says he’s shocked.
Animal care director Hannah Beins calls this rescue unusual because of the number receiving treatment, and their age, mostly babies.
“There were geese, there were ducks, chickens, peahens,” Beins said.
Nevada County Animal Control ordered the birds in quarantine while they are tested to determine if they are carrying disease. Dozens of bird carcasses were also seized into evidence.
“As we were walking through, collecting the animals into the crates, there were body parts, there were wings there were legs on the ground, decaying bodies, so it was horrible,” Beins said.
The birds and the pig were seized from the Simply Country feed store in Nevada County, where they were for sale.
Simply Country General Manager Nic Chittock says his third-generation family store raises animals to eat and does not raise sick animals.
“It would do me no good to sell you an unhealthy animal,” Chittock said. “And have it die in your place, and then not be able to sell you Feed. That is the whole purpose of this feed store.”
Chittock says he was raising the animals organically, with no antibiotics. He says it’s not unusual some were sick or died. He claims the seized carcasses were pulled by animal control officers from mulch piles where they were left to be composted. He says none of the animals were starving.
“We weren’t trying to hide anything from anybody,” Chittock said.
It’s an investigation alleging animal abuse.
“Each animal has been looked over, and they have a lot of different health problems,” Beins said.
And a store owner’s explanation
“It’s hard to take, and probably that’s just shock that this is happening,” Chittock said.
Nevada County Sheriff’s Department is still determining whether it will file charges.
The family that owns the feed store says they are eager to see what the bird tests reveal.
The animals are now in the care of Nevada County’s Animal Place.