PORTAGE, Wis. (WFRV) – A 32-year-old southcentral Wisconsin man was arrested and charged with multiple counts of Mistreatment of Animals-Causing Death after authorities recovered numerous decomposing rabbit carcasses at his residence.

According to the Portage Police Department, Portage resident Donald M. Klawes had allegedly adopted a number of domestic rabbits from various animal rescue centers in and around the southern Wisconsin area.

Officers say that several of the rabbits were alleged to have been killed by mistreatment and cruelty.

On August 9, officers were requested to check on the residence in the 800 block of East Edgewater Street. While at the residence, officers could not locate any live rabbits on the premise, however, they did find multiple shallow graves in the backyard.

A number of decomposing rabbit carcasses were reportedly recovered and further investigation showed evidence to support that multiple rabbits had been killed through ‘inhumane, brutal, and sadistic means.’

As a result of the investigation, Klawes was arrested and taken to the Columbia County Jail on multiple counts of Mistreatment of Animals-Causing Death.

Klawes is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Columbia County Court on Friday, August 11.