On April 19, 2022, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division was notified by Randolph County Animal Services of an animal cruelty case in the Sophia area.
Animal Services had been contacted when the dogs escaped their enclosure located on the property of Michael Alan Meier. Following an investigation into the welfare of the eight dogs by Randolph County Animal Services Officers, Meier was required to relocate the dogs by April 1, 2022, or surrender them to Animal Control. Meier then contacted Happy Hills Animal Foundation on March 27, 2022, in an effort to relocate the eight dogs. Meier claimed he was not the owner of the dogs but stated they had been in his care for several months.
On March 28, 2022, Happy Hills contacted Meier to arrange transport and intake of the dogs. They agreed to give Meier until April 1, 2022, to give the owner of the dogs a chance to pick them up. The intake date was then set for April 2, 2022.
Following the intake, Happy Hills then contacted Animal Services with more information regarding the severe conditions of the eight dogs and stated that they would be seeking veterinarian care. After medical examinations on April 12th and April 14th, a review was completed on each dog and follow up information was given to Animal Services.
On April 19, 2022, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division was notified by Randolph County Animal Services regarding the veterinarian’s evaluation and the determination that each dog was extremely underweight, malnourished, and had matted fur. The dogs also were found to have other medical conditions that required treatment.
On April 25, 2022, the initial medical records by the attending veterinarian were available for review by criminal investigators. On April 26, 2022, following a discussion with the District Attorney’s Office, warrants were issued for eight counts of felony cruelty to animals.
On April 28, 2022, Meier presented himself at the Randolph County Detention Center where he was served the Warrants for Arrest. He was issued a $15,000 secured bond and a first appearance is set for April 29, 2022, in Randolph County District Court.
This incident is still under investigation and additional charges may be forthcoming.
Name of Defendant:
Michael Alan Meier