May 21, 2009
Wisconsin Animals Rescued
Hundreds of animals saved from hoarding situation
In the early morning hours of May 19, The HSUS and a cadre of animal welfare groups assisted the Richland County Sherriff's Department with the seizure of more than 300 animals—including dogs, horses, fowl, livestock and other small animals—from the Thyme and Sage Ranch.
The facility, located in Cazenovia, Wisc., operated as a non-profit "rescue" operation and served as Animal Control for Richland County.
Sheriff's deputies served the warrant after an investigation set into motion by HSUS investigators, who had received numerous tips about cruel conditions at the property.
A Group Effort
In conjunction with the Dane County Humane Society, The HSUS presented the evidence to the Richland County District Attorney's office, which then reached out to the ASPCA's forensics team for assistance collecting evidence.
The Dane County Humane Society acted as the lead local animal agency and called on the Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies for more support. Finally, PetSmart Charities® sent its Emergency Relief Waggin'® full of donated goods such as wire crates, dog food and medical supplies.
A Shocking Scene
A disturbing scene greeted rescuers arriving at the property: Breeds ranging from Scottish Terriers to Labrador mixes, some suffering from serious medical ailments, severely matted fur and serious skin conditions, languished inside feces-ridden, unheated barns and outdoor structures.
Rescuers got to work right away. The ASPCA's "Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation Unit" and forensics team evaluated the animals and collected evidence for a criminal animal cruelty prosecution.
The ailing animals were then whisked to a nearby emergency shelter set up by The HSUS and UAN at Dane County Humane Society for in-depth examinations and any necessary immediate medical care by a team of veterinarians.
"The Humane Society of the United States is proud to come to the aid of these neglected animals," said Alyson Bodai, Wisconsin state director for The HSUS. "Thanks to the diligent efforts of our rescue teams, these animals will soon have a second chance at life."
Calling on The Public
Any member of the public who believes their lost pet may have ended up at the Thyme and Sage Ranch should submit information on giveshelter.org identifying their lost pet. Local officials also urged the public to contact the Richland County District Attorney's Office with personal experiences with the Thyme and Sage Ranch that may be relevant to this case.
To help The HSUS continue our hands-on work against animal cruelty, you can donate to our Animal Cruelty Campaign.