Deputies  with the Otoe County Sheriff’s Department were met by a devastating scene near Unadilla on Saturday, April 21 when they performed an animal welfare check at 1742 F Road.  At that scene, deputies found  malnourished, dead and decomposing animals.
The property owner, 67-year-old John Maahs, was previously convicted in 2009 of misdemeanor improper disposal of an animal carcass and in 2012 on a charge of felony abandonment and cruel neglect of a livestock animal.
Otoe County Chief Deputy Mike Holland said the scene was unsettling.
“I’ve seen a lot of things in 25 years, and this is just really disturbing,” he said.  
Inside the buildings on the property, deputies found malnourished pigs and goats locked up with no access to food or water. The preliminary investigation indicated that there could be, at or near, 100 carcasses of adult and juvenile pigs and goats on the property.
Once deputies saw the initial carcasses and malnourished animals in plain view, they secured the premises and obtained a search warrant. While awaiting the search warrant, the landowner, Maahs, arrived and was taken into custody.
The press release from the Otoe County Sheriff’s Office further states, “During the execution of the search warrant, deputies located goat and pig farrowing sheds with several deceased adult and juvenile goats within confinement pens throughout the property.  Some of these confinement pens contained piles of carcasses.  No water or food was located in any of the animal pens throughout the property. Deputies observed living pigs eating the corpses of other deceased pigs.  Based on the deputies’ findings, all living survivable animals on the property were seized and removed for safe keeping. Unfortunately, a few pigs had to be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian. An on-site necropsy was conducted of these pigs by the veterinarian which revealed the pigs were malnourished and their stomachs contained manure.
The property is currently secured by law enforcement for further investigation until a true count of the carcasses can be determined and then properly disposed of.”
Maahs was detained at the Otoe County Detention Center awaiting a court appearance.