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SANDUSKY COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -
A Woodville farmer arrested in an animal cruelty investigation went before a judge Wednesday morning.
In court, Thomas Linke pleaded not guilty to charges of assault on a police officer and obstructing official business, but that's not all he faces after a raid of his Sandusky County property.
Humane society investigators executed a search warrant at his farm near Woodville Tuesday, after receiving complaints of a dead goat on Saturday. Volunteers were trying to rescue two cows and a goat. Police say while investigators were at the scene, Linke crashed his pickup truck into an SUV parked near the barn. No one was hurt in the collision, but an officer was almost hit.
After police arrested Linke, volunteers eventually got the animals into a trailer and rescued 13 more.
"If I have an animal that passes away, I bury it. I don't throw it in a pile on top of another. I don't leave it laying in a stall. There are proper ways to handle those situations, and that just wasn't the case here," explained investigator Kelly Askins.
Investigators do not know the cause of death yet, but say animal cruelty charges could be filed.
Following his courtroom appearance, Linke was released on his own recognizance.
If you would like to donate to help support the recovery of the animals saved, visit the Humane Society of Sandusky County or call 419-334-4517 to learn how you can help.