HARRISVILLE - A Curtis Township man is seeking a mental competency evaluation after he was arrested earlier this month for neglecting five horses, dogs and chickens.
One of the horses died of starvation as a result, Alcona County Prosecutor Thomas Weichel said Tuesday.
The defendent was identified as 32-year-old Timothy Pawloski, who will be back in district court Aug. 7 for a status conference.
Pawloski was charged May 20 for cruelty to between four and 10 animals, because he failed to provide adequate care or negligently allowed the animals unnecessary pain, Weichel said. The maximum sentence, if convicted, is two years in prison.
On June 3, a second charged was added of killing or torturing animals. Weichel said he could not provide any additional details about the charges.
Pawloski told authorities he served twice in Afghanistan and suffers from postraumatic stress disorder, Weichel said.
A court clerk said Pawloski was released on a $20,000 cash assurity bond.
Weichel said he has seen similar cases of animal abuse five times in the last 20 years.
"Individuals believe they can own and care for horses until they find out the cost of feed and care for the animals," he said.
Two other cases were recently reported in other counties:
On Feb. 2, six miniature horses and 37 dogs were removed from the home of Jennifer Ellen Tucker-Richard, of Rust Township in Montmorency County.
In November 2012, 31 horses, three pigs and three dogs were seized from 33-year-old Christine Thompson of Hawks in Presque Isle County.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.