Beacon Falls farm owner charged with animal cruelty after state seizes 99 sheep

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 5:03 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 7:48 PM EDT
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BEACON FALLS, CT (WFSB) – A Beacon Falls farm owner was charged with animal cruelty after the Connecticut Department of Agriculture seized 99 sheep and one goose from his farm.

State officials said the department executed a search and seizure warrant on Feb. 24 for animals on the farm.

The farm is located at 392 Lopus Rd., according to court paperwork.

“The sheep, including 65 adults and 34 lambs, will be evaluated and treated by state licensed veterinarians and remain in DoAg’s custody and care until the case is adjudicated in the court system,” the CT DoAg said.

The department said the investigation began after a citizen complaint it received on Feb. 22.

The citizen reported seeing vultures surrounding carcasses on the property.

According to the state, the complaint revealed several concerns, such as poor living conditions, excess growth of wool which caused skin conditions and bald patches, and “lameness due to overgrown hooves.”

Beacon Falls Sheep
Beacon Falls Sheep(Source)

Staff from the department’s animal control unit and regulatory services met with the owner of the animals on Feb. 23.

“At that time, one ewe and her lamb were removed with permission of the owner and brought to a veterinarian to receive critical treatment for survival,” the state said. “Following treatment, the lamb and ewe were transported to the rescue barn in Niantic.”

After the animals were seized, they were transported to the DoAg’s rescue and rehabilitation facility in Niantic, the state said.

“The Woodbridge Regional Animal Control received 15 cats that were voluntarily surrendered,” state officials revealed.

Woodbridge Animal Control Officer Karen Lombardi said she helped investigators execute the search warrant.

She said conditions on the property were deplorable.

According to the search warrant, five dead animals were found on the property, including two lambs.

“It seemed like it was totally out of control. These sheep were reproducing and I guess the strong ones survived and the ones who weren’t strong enough didn’t and it was really unfortunate,” Lombardi said.

Woodbridge, Southbury, Oxford, North Haven, and East Haven Animal Control helped the department.

Chesnutis was charged with animal cruelty.

In March, Attorney General Tong made a push for the animals seized to be put in the state’s care.

“The conditions at this property were beyond deplorable, and the sheep were severely neglected. We are moving for permanent state custody to ensure these animals receive the care and treatment they urgently require and deserve,” says Attorney General Tong.

“Resources and support for animal owners facing hardship is available through the Department of Agriculture at 860-713-2500,” the state said.