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Felony Animal Cruelty Charges Filed Against Former Sandy Twp. Zoning Officer

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Felony animal cruelty charges filed against former Sandy Twp. zoning officer

 
Jim Keck

Former Sandy Township Zoning Officer Jim Keck is shown in this file photo

DuBOIS — Former Sandy Township Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer Jim Keck faces felony animal cruelty charges for allegedly shooting his neighbor's three cows with bird shot from a shotgun, according to a criminal complaint filed with District Judge Patrick Ford's office in DuBois. 

On March 19, Sandy Township Police charged Keck, 60, 287 Harold Bundy Road, DuBois, with three felony counts of  aggravated cruelty to animals - causing serious bodily injury or death, and three misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. The charges stem from an incident at 6:53 p.m. March 17 on Harold Bundy Road in the township. 

 

"Immediately upon hearing about Mr. Keck’s alleged actions, Sandy Township management conducted a fair, thorough, and expedient administrative investigation into the matter and took necessary actions as a result," said Arbaugh. 

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Michael Carlson, 178 Harold Bundy Road in the township, reported that his neighbor, Keck, had shot his cows. Upon arrival, police met with Carlson and his son, Matthew Carlson. At about 4:30 p.m. March 17, Michael Carlson stated that he received a call from his son, who told him that Keck "just shot three of their cows." Michael Carlson came home to find that three of his younger cows were wounded, two in the rear flank and the third in the ear. 

Matthew Carlson told police that he was outside on the front porch when he heard a gunshot coming from the direction of Keck's house, the affidavit said. He said that he then heard two more shots coming from the same direction and then saw three of their cows limping across the road back inside their fence. He said that he went to check on the cows and saw that two white cows were shot in the rear and the third was shot in the ear. Carlson told police "that all Keck had to do was call him and he would have removed the cows from his property." He also said that Keck has never said anything to him about his cows getting out of the fence. 

Keck reportedly told officers he did shoot the cows with birdshot from a shotgun "because he was tired of the cows coming into his yard and causing damage," for several weeks, the affidavit said. He reportedly said "he has tried to be neighborly but Carlson refuses to take care of his fence." Keck said that he has photos of the cows in his yard and on one day he attempted to scare the cows back home by firing his 9mm pistol into the ground about 11 times to no avail. 

On March 18, Keck provided a written statement to township police Chief Kris Kruzelak. In his statement, Keck reportedly admitted to shooting three shots from his shotgun to scare the cows off his property. 

On March 19, police received a written statement from veterinarian Ben Wise, who stated that he examined one Heifer, one bull and one steer. The Heifer was shot with a shotgun and 1 BB was removed from this Heifer. Wise said the the other BBs will never be able to be removed. Wise also said that it is impossible to determine the number of BB's present in all three animals and that the animals are unfit as food animals, the affidavit said. He also prescribed antibiotics for the most severely injured animal. 

The affidavit said photos were taken of the Heifer that sustained the most severe injury and more than 100 BB's were counted and many others were not. Photos of the other two cows were also taken, which showed they also sustained injury from a shotgun blast. 

Keck's preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. May 8 at Ford's office. 

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. Felonies get passed up to county court , right ?..... He was very difficult , as a Twp.official , to get a straight forward answer to any question .... Was he retired , or let go ? " no longer employed " could mean either.....I hope the Carlsons will not accept a plea deal of pleading guity to lesser charges ..

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9 minutes ago, doingfine said:

Huge vet bill , embarassment and potential loss of hunting privileges , plus legal fees will add up.

Not sure he will lose his hunting privileges. The game commission doesn’t own the cows and he wasn’t hunting just being a stupid a$$ that needs to deal with his ridiculous acts.

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There are houses all around the area where he was shooting.  Granted, a shotgun doesn't go that far usually, but he's up on a hill and the cows were downhill near the road, so the shot probably went much further than usual. It was dangerous for lots of reasons including passing traffic.  You are not allowed to shoot across a roadway.

That land is all Agricultural which doesn't excuse the cows roaming, but a shotgun was not the answer.  Maybe he could have helped the farmer repair the fences, but he's not that kind of a person.

I live near the DuBois Bus Station.  Years ago I was going to town and found a neighbor's horse loose.  I stopped,  got hold of the horse's halter and took it back up the hill to it's owner's door, who yelled in shock and scared the horse when she saw it.  It was a fun moment keeping the horse from bolting, and took me back to my younger days when I worked with horses and farm animals.  I miss it. Enjoyment of farm animals is a lost pastime.  I would have had a chair in the window watching them.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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10 hours ago, jt85 said:

Not sure he will lose his hunting privileges. The game commission doesn’t own the cows and he wasn’t hunting just being a stupid a$$ that needs to deal with his ridiculous acts.

Wouldn't he lose hunting privileges if convicted of a felony?  He can't own/possess a gun as a convicted felon.  

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1 hour ago, MIM307 said:

Wouldn't he lose hunting privileges if convicted of a felony?  He can't own/possess a gun as a convicted felon.  

A dis-charge of a gun during the commission of a felony should earn a few years ( or life ) of no hunting because of it. A plea deal should include that by the D.A and supported by the judge . Why would a gun be allowed in his hands to hunt game  IF FOUND GUILTY ,?.... by admission I read . A heinous act that I am sure he regrets . All my opinions , though I may be mistaken. 

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I do not condone any kind of abuse of animals, but there are abuse cases committed against other people in this area all the time, and they don't make the front page of the paper with pictures of the accused.........…….just feel something is unjust about it.....

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7 hours ago, Lyndsey33 said:

I don't know who Kristen Baker is, her post just keeps getting shared. I know this has nothing to do with the op but it's interesting.

Screenshot_20200327-142736.jpg

Probably see’s all the other Jack asses running around and figured it should also..

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10 hours ago, conservativeman633 said:

I do not condone any kind of abuse of animals, but there are abuse cases committed against other people in this area all the time, and they don't make the front page of the paper with pictures of the accused.........…….just feel something is unjust about it.....

IF ONLY THE COWS COULD TALK??.............maybe the tide has turned here and all criminal acts will be published , as they should be ........there is an invisible shield of secrecy in this part of Pa. !

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It's like the lawyer who was drinking and driving. He, of all people, should have known better. Mr Keck was a long term Township employee and knew better. It's more interesting when it's a public persona. It sells papers.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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3 hours ago, Petee said:

It's like the lawyer who was drinking and driving. He, of all people, should have known better. Mr Keck was a long term Township employee and knew better. It's more interesting when it's a public persona. It sells papers.

true...………………..but the key word is "was"...…..if it's just to sell papers then shame on the papers, IMO...……..

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if you are afraid to maybe having your name posted on line or in paper.....don't do stupid stuff or illegal stuff


To achieve the title of old and wise, you must first be young and dumb :P

 

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. :P

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