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Monroe man charged with mistreating animals
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MONROE — A Monroe man is charged with animal mistreatment after passersby found four goats hog-tied without food or water in the back of his car on a hot September day, according to court records.

Moayyad Hassan Mustafa, 52, faces Class A misdemeanor charges of intentionally mistreating animals, intentionally failing to provide food to an animal and intentionally providing animal shelter at an improper temperature. Each of the three charges is punishable by up to nine months in jail or fines.

His initial appearance is Dec. 17. State court records show no criminal record for Mustafa.

The criminal complaint against Mustafa is based on a report by Monroe police officer Corey Mills and on necropsy evaluations by two veterinarians.

According to the reports:

Mills was dispatched early on the afternoon of Sept. 15 to the 1000 block of 9th Avenue, where he met with a group of people in a nearby backyard giving water and shade to four goats.

The people told Mills they found the goats upside-down and tied up by their legs inside a nearby vehicle after a passerby heard what sounded like goats crying. An adult goat and two kids were in the open, unsecured trunk, while a fourth adult goat was lying in the back seat.

“The two small brown goats were actually lying upside down in a Rubbermaid tote inside the trunk,” Mills wrote. He noted that the goats were panting heavily, very thirsty and appeared to be suffering from heat exhaustion. The temperature that day was in the mid to upper 80s.

When goats get too hot, their temperatures rise and they are unable to cool themselves, Mills noted. He advised the group tending the goats to wet them down with cool water and put a fan on them if possible.

Mustafa was located and identified as the owner of the vehicle and goats. He told Mills he purchased the goats that morning from an auction at Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales and said he had plans to raise them on a farm outside Monroe.

Mustafa said he had stopped at home “to cool off and get something to drink because his vehicle doesn’t have air conditioning” and he was “hot and thirsty.”

He said the goats were left in the car 20 minutes, but a nearby resident told Mills the car had been parked there since at least 10 a.m.

Police seized the goats and took them to a farm. Six days later, one of the goats was found dead in a pasture.

A necropsy by vets Emily Severson and Harvey Medinger found that “it cannot be definitively determined” whether the heat stress on Sept. 15 caused the female goat’s death, however the evidence suggested it “may have played a role.”

“It is important to note that this particular goat was also under metabolic stress due to nursing two large kids. This added metabolic stress may have exacerbated the effects of heat stress that this goat experienced,” the vets noted.