WESTPORT (CBS) – The owner of a Westport farm and 26 others were indicted Friday in what the state attorney general claims is the largest animal cruelty case in New England.
Back in July, police were called to Richard Medeiros’ 70-acre farm on American Legion Highway and found 1,400 animals in horrific conditions.
“In some cases, they were living in such deep manure waste that their hooves had rotted off and they were suffering from painful eye, intestinal and skin ailments,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office said in a statement Friday.
The dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits didn’t have access to clean food and water and were forced to live with debris and other dead animals.
“This situation is unparalleled to anything I’ve seen in my 37 years as an animal law enforcement officer. The sheer number of animals in dire need of care, and the cruel and unsanitary conditions we found were deplorable,” said Lt. Alan Borgal of Animal Rescue League of Boston in a statement.
The break in the case came when someone called 911 after two starved Rottweilers escaped from the farm and broke into another lot where they killed several goats.
Medeiros, 83, was indicted by a Grand Jury on 21 counts of animal cruelty. The other 26 people charged were renting out space on the property.
All will eventually be arraigned in Bristol Superior Court.