An Update from the Field in Massachusetts
UPDATE 8/10: Since late July, the ASPCA has been on the ground in Westport, MA, assisting in a massive farm animal cruelty case. All of the animals have been removed from the scene and transported to safety. The majority are currently being sheltered and cared for at a temporary shelter set up and operated by the ASPCA, while a small number have been place with various rescue organizations.
The total number of animals rescued has climbed to nearly 1,075, with more than 1,000 animals still in our care. The species range from farm animals like cows, pigs, sheep and chickens, to more unusual species like pheasant and peacock. With approximately 45 responders on the scene, we’ll continue to provide daily care, medical evaluations and forensic support as the case develops.
Large-scale rescue operations like this one require an enormous amount of resources. Your support today can ensure that our rescue team is prepared to help animals in need at a moment’s notice.
This post was originally published on August 1, 2016.
An incredible month of rescue operations continues today in Massachusetts, where the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has deployed to assist the Westport Police Department in the largest-ever farm animal cruelty case in the Northeast. More than 1,000 farm animals of various species—including pigs, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, calves, sheep, cows and fish—were found living in deplorable conditions on a 70-acre property, many of them exhibiting signs of neglect with no access to food or water.
The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team is currently on the scene assisting local and state officials with the investigation, care and sheltering of the animals, who will soon be relocated to a nearby ASPCA emergency shelter. In addition, our Forensic Sciences team is assisting with evidence collection to support the criminal case and our Legal Advocacy team is working closely with the Attorney General’s office to assist with successful prosecution. They have found numerous deceased animals throughout the property.
“This is an unusual situation given the high number and diverse nature of neglected animals, as well as the tremendous resources required to deliver necessary care,” said Matthew Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “By collaborating closely with our rescue and law enforcement partners, we’re dedicated to ending their suffering and providing them immediate care and safety.”
We are providing daily care and medical treatment to animals in critical condition while we work to establish an emergency shelter near the property. We will work closely with other rescue agencies to transport the animals to the shelter for continuing care until custody is determined by the court.
These 1,000 animals join nearly 200 others the ASPCA has rescued within the last two weeks from cases in Ohio, Tennessee and North Carolina. Our team is working hard and fast to provide life-saving services to these innocent victims.