Feed Store Owner Denies Animal Abuse
An Agoura feed store owner pleaded not guilty Monday in Calabasas Municipal Court to 20 counts of cruelty to animals and improperly caring for them. James Macklin, owner of Macklin Hay & Grain, was ordered to appear June 2 for a pretrial hearing.
The store, one of three that he owns, sells a variety of animals, including geese, ducks, chickens and calves.
Two months ago, an investigator from the Agoura Hills branch of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control reported finding six dead geese and a dead pheasant, as well as two calves that had been improperly castrated, one of which later died from a loss of blood.
As a result of that inspection, the complaint, filed April 4, charged Macklin with not sufficiently caring for certain animals by not providing adequate shelter, food, water and sanitary conditions. He also is accused of violating local zoning laws by selling cattle on the property.
Macklin, of West Covina, asserted that the animals were cared for properly. He said the castrations were performed by a qualified person.
He said the complaint resulted from a grievance with the animal-control inspector. “I lost my temper and they are going to make me pay, because we didn’t do anything wrong,” Macklin said.
“It is not a case of anybody picking on him,” said Bruce Richards, assistant director of the county animal-control department.
Frank Turner, district supervisor for Agoura Hills branch of the department, said Macklin has been cited in the past for sanitation violations but has corrected them.
The counts carry maximum penalties of six months in jail and fines of $500.