State obtains ownership of animals seized in East Hampton cruelt - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State obtains ownership of animals seized in East Hampton cruelty case

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The state now has ownership of animals seized from a farm in East Hampton following animal cruelty charges. (Dept. of Agriculture) The state now has ownership of animals seized from a farm in East Hampton following animal cruelty charges. (Dept. of Agriculture)
Thomas Olajos, 36, and his wife 37-year-old Melanie Olajos, were arrested on Friday, according to police. (Dept. of Agriculture) Thomas Olajos, 36, and his wife 37-year-old Melanie Olajos, were arrested on Friday, according to police. (Dept. of Agriculture)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Dozens of animals seized in an East Hampton animal cruelty case were turned over to state agricultural officials on Tuesday.

During a court hearing on Tuesday, Connecticut's Department of Agriculture looked to obtain formal custody of 32 horses, 78 chickens, 19 rabbits and two dogs.

The animals have been in the care of the department since they were seized from the Fairy Tail Equine breeder in early February.

Thomas and Melanie Olajos face nearly three dozen counts of cruelty to animals. The husband and wife were officially arrested on Monday, according to the department.

An arrest warrant said the horses were neglected, underweight and had a number of grooming issues. The rib cages of the dogs were visible because they were emaciated. The chickens had little or no access to water. The rabbits' cages were filthy.

The horses have been cared for at the department's animal rehabilitation center in Niantic since they were taken from East Hampton.

"They're doing better. Their personalities are coming out," said Ray Connors, of the Department of Agriculture.

The other animals are at various shelters around the state.

After Tuesday's hearing, those animals can soon be adopted.

"We've received a lot of calls. We've never really had a problem with placing animals. We do have other horses that do need homes that we've had for awhile," Connors said.

One horse is already in the process of being sold, and that transaction has been allowed to continue and the money will go to the state.

Outside of court on Tuesday, the couple had no comment but their attorney explained that the couple just got overwhelmed and couldn't keep up with the bills.

"The animals cost $20,000 a month to feed and they got into a cash flow crisis," said Attorney Ryan McGuigan. "They were trying to get rid of the horses but they were stuck between a rock and a hard place. The irony of it is that they love the horses so they couldn't do what some people would probably, realistically have done and that is to put some of the horses down."

The Olanjos will be facing their criminal charges next week.

As for the animals, they will continue to be rehabbed and will be up for adoption in the weeks and months to come.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the care and feeding of the animals can do so by clicking here, or sending a check to:

THE ANIMAL ABUSE COST RECOVERY ACCOUNT, c/o Connecticut Department of Agriculture, 165 Capitol Avenue, Room G-8A, Hartford, CT 06106.

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