A North Potomac, Maryland, man was arrested for attempting to have sex with a horse, officials said Friday.

James Von Dundas, 67, told an undercover animal services officer in Loudoun County, Virginia, that he wanted to have sex with a horse. He was taken into custody at Virginia’s Balls Bluff Park on Thursday, where he "indicated his intent to engage in the illegal activity" to the animal services officer, police said.

He was charged with “attempted carnal knowledge of an animal.” He was released the following day on a $2,500 bond. Dundas was, however, ordered to stay away from all the animals till he appeared in court May 7.

In a press release, Animal Control Chief Chris Brosan said, “Loudoun County has zero tolerance for criminal acts that include cruel and heinous behavior towards animals.” “We routinely conduct investigations to protect all animals in Loudoun,” Brosan added, NBC Washington reported.

In a news release, Department of Animal Services Director Nina Stively said, “We recognize that proactive investigations are one of the best ways to ensure the community is safe. We do not want to wait for crimes against animals to happen, we want to prevent them.”

Any crime against animals is categorized under Class 6 felony by the Virginia law and if found guilty, a person could face up to five years in years and a fine of $2,500. The Virginia Court of Appeals upheld the state’s ban on bestiality in January, stating that animals are unable to provide consent.

In a similar incident in January 2019, an Oregon man was sentenced to 20 months in prison for having sex with a horse. The incident came to light in April 2018, when the horse’s owner noticed that the animal was tied up in a different way when she had left home. The woman then sent a photo of the horse to her daughter, a veterinarian, who suspected the animal was sexually assaulted. Police spoke to a neighbor who said she saw a “homeless-looking” man in the area. The officers saw Kenneth Duyck sleeping in a vehicle nearby and took him into custody. He admitted to the crime and was prohibited from owning domestic animals for 15 years.

Representational image of a horse. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images