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Belleville man fined $705 in neglect case
Bradley Zweifel of Belleville attends a plea and sentencing hearing on a charge of obstructing an officer stemming from an incident of animal neglect at the Green County Justice Center on Thursday. (Times photo: Marissa Weiher)
MONROE - A Belleville man was fined $705 Thursday after pleading no contest to a charge of obstructing an officer stemming from an incident of animal neglect.

Bradley Donald Zweifel, 41, was charged with two counts of obstructing an officer and one count of mistreating animals June 5 after three of his pet pit bulls attacked and fatally injured a miniature horse he owned.

According to police records, officers received a tip that Zweifel's dogs were savaging the horse on June 3. Upon arrival, officers were forced to euthanize the severely injured animal.

The anonymous tipster claimed a similar attack had occurred in April when Zweifel's dogs attacked and killed another miniature horse.

At the time, Zweifel claimed a coyote may have attacked the second horse, and said he simply no longer owned the first horse. Police eventually located where the first horse was buried.

The dogs were ordered to be euthanized at Zweifel's expense, costing him more than $1,500.

Green County Circuit Judge Thomas Vale said Zweifel "made poor choices about what he told the deputies" and imposed a fine.

"I think you should really consider getting out of the livestock business," Vale said.