AMELIA, Va. (AP) — A retired pinball machine repairman has been arrested after police in Chesterfield County said he tried to prevent officers from seizing his pet camel, Jacob.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1H4Y8IJ) Stanley Holmes Jr., 57, has been charged with obstruction of justice and misdemeanor animal cruelty.
Chesterfield County police spokeswoman Elizabeth Caroon said animal control officers were investigating a report of a neglected camel that appeared emaciated. On advice from the State Veterinarian's Office, they decided to seize the animal.
Caroon said as officers were arranging to transport the camel on Tuesday, Holmes loaded it into a horse trailer and drove away.
"I was never told I could not take the camel," Holmes said. "I asked the police officer twice if I was being detained. He said no, so I left."
Holmes said police followed him for at least six miles before pulling him over.
Holmes, who lives in Amelia, kept the camel at the home of his estranged wife, Angela M. Holmes, in Chesterfield. She also was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.
Holmes also keeps emus, ducks, chickens, cows, sheep and goats. He said he cares for the animals as a hobby and doesn't breed or sell them.
Authorities said a hearing before a judge on the seizure will be scheduled.
As of Wednesday, Jacob was being housed in a pen at Chesterfield Animal Control. Jacob has been seen by a veterinarian and has been prescribed a special kind of hay and camel feed.
"His care is going to be monitored," Alice E. Berry, the manager of animal services, said.
Berry said that depending on the hearing outcome, the county will work to place Jacob in an appropriate home or return him to Holmes.
Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com