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March 16, 2014

Cow caretaker: Neglected bovines slowly recovering

Man charged with 39 counts of animal cruelty due back in court April 3

CHAZY — The 32 cows in David and Dan Beggs’s care have been recovering gradually since their owner was charged with animal cruelty.

After Clinton County sheriff’s deputies found five cows dead Feb. 28 on Gerald G. Guay’s farm at 557 Rapids Road in Champlain, the remaining 34 were seized along with a calf that was born that morning and Guay was charged with 39 counts of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor.

Three of the animals were in such poor health that they had to be euthanized.

Guay, 58, told Clinton County sheriff’s deputies he had a medical condition that prevented him from properly caring for the cows.

BOND HEARING

At a recent bond hearing in Champlain Town Court, Guay was ordered to produce $4,500 to pay for the feed and care of the cattle, said Clinton County Sheriff David Favro.

The Champlain farmer, who had paid $5,000 bail after spending a night in Clinton County Jail after his arrest, wrote a $4,500 check to go into a special account for those expenses, the sheriff said.

“If we need more, then we’ll be back there before that month runs out, and we’ll ask for more.”

David said he and his brother are keeping track of expenses and will collect the money they need for reimbursement for at the end of the month.

Guay is due back in court at 6 p.m. April 3.

‘PRETTY THIN’

The day Guay was arrested, David and Dan trucked the bovines from his farm to theirs on Stratton Hill Road in West Chazy.

“Some of them were pretty thin,” David said.

He said the younger cows seemed to be in worse shape than the older ones when he first moved them to Maple Shade Farm.

“Some of them took it a little bit harder than others.”

Deputies from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department came to check on the animals for the first couple of days they were there and have been calling the farm to monitor the cows’ health since then, David said.

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