Sep. 16—Otsego County sheriff's deputies and employees of the Susquehanna SPCA seized an assortment of malnourished animals from Village Farms in Gilbertsville on Friday, Sept. 16.
Around 17 horses, two pigs, a llama, a donkey and a cat were taken from the farm, according to Investigator Anthony Grimes.
"We filed a search warrant for the seizing of multiple animals due to an ongoing investigation concerning the health and well being of the animals," Grimes said.
The animals on the property were reported to be suffering from malnutrition and lack of care. A dead llama was also reported on the property, which led to the investigation of Village Farms, Grimes said.
SQSPCA was notified Tuesday of the hoarding situation and malnourished animals according to Stacie Haynes, executive director of the agency.
"We were notified of the animals on Tuesday. We were sent pictures of the animals not receiving basic care and after Deputy Puffer contacted us, that's when we started putting the pieces together for the investigation," Haynes said.
The location where the seized animals were taken was not disclosed by Grimes or Haynes.
"We prefer to keep the location not known because the last time we did a rescue we had people there waiting for the animals and that started to interfere with the rescue process and investigation," Haynes said.
There are veterinarians assisting the animals and the horses are being quarantined during the treatment.
"We have multiple vets on site helping the animals who are sick with a couple illnesses, but the horses are being quarantined from each other. As of now we rescued a llama and seven of the horses at the farm," Haynes said Friday afternoon.
SQSPCA will ask Village Farms owners whether they want to surrender the animals or rehome them. However, Haynes said it will involve a court process.
"We are just making sure that we are removing the animals from the scene and getting them to a safer location. We can keep the horses for a couple weeks at the location we have them in right now, but they will have to be moved eventually," she said.
SQSPCA will reach out to other organizations in several weeks for assistance for the care and treatment of the horses.
"We have a huge need for hay right now and we are accepting any donations for the horses," Haynes said.
Those interested in donating can contact the Susquehanna SPCA at 607-547-8111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexis Ochi, staff writer, can be reached at email@example.com or 607-441-7213