CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield Police pulled over a man Tuesday afternoon on River Road and seized his 10-year-old camel named Jacob. The man, who identified himself to WTVR CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit as Stanley Holmes, said he was arrested for obstruction of justice after police came to his house to take the camel, and he drove off with Jacob in a trailer.
Chesterfield Police confirmed they conducted a welfare check on Jacob on Sunday, and after they consulted with the Commonwealth’s Attorney and a veterinarian, decided to seize the animal Tuesday. Chesterfield Police said the animal appeared to be underweight.
The camel, now in the custody of Chesterfield County Animal Control, will be checked out by a veterinarian and is being fed special camel food.
Jim Andelin, with the Richmond Metro Zoo, said he was made aware of the situation and had seen pictures of Jacob. He said the hump on Jacob’s back was very small, especially when compared with the same type of camel at the zoo. Andelin said a camel’s hump stores food and water.
"The camel is in really poor shape based on what I could see from the photographs," Andelin said. "It's just unfortunate the animal wasn't given the food and water it needed."
Jacob’s owner admitted the camel was thin, but said it was for another reason that he did not want to disclose. He said the animal is well-cared for, and he found him on Craigslist.
WTVR CBS 6 cameras were allowed on Holmes’ property Tuesday when police executed a search warrant. On the property lived peacocks, emus and chickens. Police called the investigation ongoing.
Andelin said he believed camels are considered domesticated animals in Chesterfield County, and they don’t require a permit, but he said Animal Control was trying to figure out the rules.