A Garrattsville-area farm was found with more than 100 animals in squalor Friday night, and the owners were later arrested for animal cruelty and other charges.
A passerby noticed a goose caught and being shocked in an electric fence at 166 Backus Road and called the police, according to Susquehanna Animal Shelter director Stacie Haynes, who said she arrived early Saturday morning with a team to assist in recovering the animals.
Otsego County sheriff’s deputies then found nine dogs, a cat and farm animals in states of neglect and filth. The remaining animals included seven donkeys, 25 geese, 13 chickens, 13 sheep, 20 pigs, a pigeon, two parakeets, a guinea hen, seven rabbits, a turkey and three ducks, according to Haynes.
“Deplorable is a nice way to say how the dogs were living,” Haynes said.
Seven of them were in a feces-covered basement, and some were so matted they couldn’t even wag their tails, she said. SAH took the nine dogs and cat to clean them and provide any veterinary care necessary before they are put up for adoption. Haynes said that they are thin but not emaciated, and should be ready to adopt in about two weeks. Two Great Pyrenees and a mix of Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs were recovered.
The rest of the animals were taken by area farmers and animal rescues in a matter of hours, according to Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin. He said that the couple that own the farm are currently charged with five counts of animal cruelty, but those charges may be upgraded. They are also being charged for growing marijuana indoors. Devlin did not release their names.
“It’s one of the worst ones we’ve had in quite a while,” he said. The animals had no food or water, and two had to be euthanized because of their condition. Two other animals were found dead on the premises.
Devlin said that the farm owners returned from downstate to be arrested and have cooperated with the investigation, including surrendering the animals. He thanked the public for an outpouring of support in adopting animals and donating goods for their care.
Erin Jerome, staff writer, may be reached at email@example.com or 441-7221. Follow her at @DS_ErinJ on Tiwtter.