Unadilla Man Back In Jail For Livestock Abuse

NEBRASKA CITY – A Unadilla man previously jailed for abuse of livestock is back in custody today after authorities found about 100 dead pigs and goats on his farm.

Chief Deputy Mike Holland said a motorist saw a goat along Highway 2 and walked it back up to the nearby farm. There, the deputy said, the motorist found the horrific sight of numerous animals in various stages of decomposition.

The farmer, 67-year-old John Maahs, was not at home when deputies arrived. When he pulled up, he was pulling a trailer with 21 more feeder pigs.

Holland said he has no explanation for Maahs’ behavior. He said there were bags of hog feed stacked up, but he did not give it to the animals.

Deputies found several farrowing sheds with deceased goat and pigs inside. Heat lamps were still on the bodies of dead piglets. More dead pigs and goats were found in confinement pens.

There was no food or water in the pens and deputies observed that the animals were trying to survive by eating corpses of the dead.

An necropsy performed by a veterinarian found that the animals were malnourished and their stomachs contained manure.

Surviving animals, including four baby goats and a dog, were turned over the Nebraska Humane Society. Others were taken to Palmyra Livestock Auction for safekeeping.

Maahs were previously convicted in Otoe County in 2009 of misdemeanor improper disposal of an animal carcass. In 2012, he was convicted of felony abandonment or cruel neglect of livestock.

We strive for accuracy. Report a typo, inaccuracy, or mistake here.