A 75-year-old Berlin Township man has been charged with animal cruelty for keeping more than 30 rabbits, four ducks and five chickens in poor living conditions.

He is also accused of burying several other animal carcasses on his property. 

James Chester Kimball Jr. was formally charged Tuesday with a count of the crime against 10 animals, according to the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office. The crime is a felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $20,000.

Police said more charges against Kimball could be coming.

A Port Huron district court judge set Kimball's bond at $5,000 and ordered him not to obtain or possess any animals while he remained free. He is scheduled to next appear in court in April.

St. Clair County Sheriff's deputies were called to Kimball's home on Feb. 8 on a complaint that he was not properly caring for animals he owned, officials said.

Deputies found 14 dead rabbits, three dead chickens and a dead duck in addition to several other animals being kept in poor living conditions, police said.

After authorities spoke to Kimball, he voluntarily relinquished his possession of the live animals, which included 11 rabbits, four ducks, three chickens and two roosters, according to the sheriff's office. The animals were taken to the Detroit Animal Welfare Group in Romeo.

Police said Wednesday they received another call Tuesday about animal cruelty at Kimball's home. Deputies went to the home and found 22 more rabbits in poor living conditions and two dead ones.

They again spoke to Kimball, who relinquished the animals to police. Those animals were also taken to the Detroit Animal Welfare Group in Romeo. Officials with the group said the rabbits had been left outside with no food or water.

Officials said they have asked the St. Clair County Prosecutor's Office to file additional animal cruelty charges against Kimbal.






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