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      Isabella County farmer accused of animal cruelty turns himself in

      John Montross, of Mount Pleasant, turned himself in Monday afternoon. He is facing one felony count of abandoning and cruelty to animals.

      The Isabella County farmer accused of animal cruelty after 71 calves were found dead on his property has turned himself in.

      John Montross, of Mount Pleasant, turned himself in Monday afternoon. He is facing one felony count of abandoning and cruelty to animals.

      Montross was released on a $3,000 bond.

      According to court documents, 71 dead calves were found under snow and hay on his property.

      Neighbors said they were surprised to hear about the accusations.

      Mike Smalley, who has lived next to Montross' farm in Mount Pleasant for 30 years, said the adult cows always seemed healthy in the field. He said he wasn't aware Montross was raising young cattle.

      "This is the first time I've heard of a problem with neglect or animal cruelty or not feeding them," Smalley said.

      Neither Animal Control nor the prosecutor were willing to comment on the story.

      The Associated Press reports Montross is a member of the Deerfield Township Planning Commission.

      Montross is scheduled to be back in court on April 21.