09/19/2012 05:37 pm ET

John Maahs, Farmer, Lets 1,000 Pigs Die Because He 'Got Lazy'

Hundreds of pigs and other farm animals starved because a Nebraska farmer neglected them when he got a full-time job.

John Maahs, 61, pleaded no contest to a charge of felony animal cruelty, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Up to 1,000 dead pigs were found on Maahs' Unadilla farm in September 2011, and officials determined that the animals had died of starvation. Investigators also found 140 live pigs, several goats, and one calf, according to the Associated Press, all without food or water. These animals were rescued by the Nebraska Humane Society and county officials.

Maahs told the court that he had become so busy with his full-time job that he "got lazy and didn't take care of things at home," according to the World-Herald.

County Attorney David Parsch said that a psychological evaluation of Maahs showed no signs of mental illness.

On Tuesday, Maahs was sentenced to 20 months to four years in prison, and is prohibited from owning any animals for 15 years after his release.

He has already paid $56,000 towards cleaning up the rotting carcasses.



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