Edinburg man charged with animal cruelty

An Edinburg man was charged with five counts of animal cruelty Friday following seizure of dozens of animals from his property, said Capt. Wesley Dellinger of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office.

Travis A. Baker, 36, is set to appear in Shenandoah District Court a 2 p.m. July 15.  Authorities executed a search warrant of his farm at 605 Swover Creek, Edinburg, on Wednesday in relation to an investigation of animal cruelty and inadequate care of companion animal charges.

Dellinger said the animals at Baker’s farm showed signs of neglect and were in need of food and water when they were taken.

“Some of them were in very poor health,” he said. “They did appear to possibly have some diseases. Some animals showed what appeared to be some sores.”

No veterinarian was present to verify the health of the animals.

According to the warrant, authorities seized 53 chickens, 14 cats, nine guineas, six dogs, six goats, six sheep, three turkeys, two rabbits, two sheep, two calves, one pigeon and one female pig.

Dellinger said all of the animals have been relocated to homes throughout the county where they will receive proper care.

The warrant states that prior to Wednesday’s search and seizure, the owner of the animals had 40 charges pending for animal cruelty, inadequate care of companion animals, and failure to have rabies shots and county tags.

Since those charges were filed, Baker acquired more animals, and animal control representatives have received complaints of dogs crying through all hours of the night, according to the warrant.

Authorities who filled out the warrant also reported the presence of an underweight hog with body lice and a donkey that appears to be underweight. A family member who left the donkey in Baker’s possession is tending to it now. Dellinger said the family member did not realize that Baker was not providing proper care.

Baker has been released on a bond and is not allowed to be in possession of any animals until his hearing in July.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com