28 animals removed from Dunsmore Road property after colliding with loose horse; alleged negligence due to aging owner | News - petsitterbank

28 animals removed from Dunsmore Road property after colliding with loose horse; alleged negligence due to aging owner | News

ST. ALBANS TOWN — After encountering a stray horse on Dunsmore Road, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and several Vermont animal-focused nonprofits removed 28 animals from a former farm at 1974 Dunsmore Road due to alleged negligence towards animals.

Potential charges related to the incident are pending with the state’s attorney’s office, Capt. John Grismore told The Messenger.

A Sheriff’s Office deputy first came across a stray horse on Dunsmore Road on Saturday January 15. According to police reports, the deputy noticed the horse was neglected, and after contacting the horse’s owner, law enforcement discovered seven horses. and 21 sheep that did not have enough food, water or shelter. At least one horse had a leg laceration.

They were also not confined, which allowed them to move freely.

After further investigation, the sheriff’s office found that 30 previous complaints, dating back to 2013, had been reported about animals on Dunsmore Causeway. After taking over law enforcement in the area last summer, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office received three such complaints.

While livestock on the pavement is not uncommon in Vermont, this is the “first instance where it has been determined that animals were not receiving proper care,” according to police reports.

After speaking with the owner, deputies learned that the negligence was neither malicious nor intentional. Grismore said the owner was physically unable to do what was necessary to care for the large number of animals, and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Response Team and a representative from Age Well were dispatched to provide services to the owner.

Deputies and a group of mostly volunteers from several Vermont animal rescue agencies also visited the site on Thursday, Jan. 27 to take the animals out.

“The Humane Society has really played a leadership role. We had two vets who did the onsite assessment and care of the animals. They were the ones who supported this from a financial standpoint,” Grismore said.

Participating agencies and nonprofit organizations that assisted in the rescue include the Humane Society of the United States, Dorset Equine Rescue, Humane Society of Chittenden County, Vermont Agriculture Agency, HEART Wildlife Removal, Age Well, Spay ASAP, Inc. and St Albans Town Animal Control Officer.

Volunteer agencies provided much of the logistical support for the operation and moved the animals to several locations in southern Vermont, Grismore said. The day’s events included evaluating the animals, putting halters on them and herding them into trailers.

During one such instance, Grismore said one of the horses got away and a handful of volunteers, mostly women, stood up to a horse charging at the group. After the horse was driven into a trailer, the vehicle began to shake due to the horse’s disturbances.

“It was a really good community effort, and it was brutal yesterday,” Grismore said. “These people were out all day. They all stuck it out and handled it.


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