FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — A Middletown man has entered a plea on a felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty.
On Monday, Scott Mackey, 34, appeared before Judge G. Edward Dwyer, Jr. and entered an Alford plea — meaning he maintains his innocence but recognizes the state has evidence to convict him on the charge stemming from a 2018 incident.
According to court documents, in December of 2018, a witness called 9-1-1 to report that she saw Mackey “bending and stretching” a guinea pig and inappropriately touching the animal in the parking lot of a Frederick shopping center along Urbana Pike.
Officers with Frederick County Animal Control and the county sheriff’s office responded to the incident just outside of a Target store.
Court documents state that the officers noted white animal hair on Mackey’s shirt and pants. Documents state that Mackey had just adopted the animal and went to Target to purchase a blanket as the animal seemed stressed.
An animal control officer examined the guinea pig and noticed that the rectum and surrounding area of the guinea pig were swollen and inflamed.
Court documents state that Mackey described the incident as a misunderstanding.
Officers reported to Mackey’s home where pets, including a dog and two cats, seemed in healthy condition.
Mackey did relinquish ownership of the guinea pig.
During the hearing, the state argued for a suspended sentence but Judge Dwyer sentenced Mackey to probation before judgment.
Mackey was ordered three years of supervised probation with conditions. He will not be allowed to adopt any new animals.