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Download the WFS Montgomery Neglect Case Press Release.


Jeff Lydon
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary
845-247-5700, ext. 104 (O)
607-279-1405 (M)
845-256-8400 (F)



Montgomery, New York, October 12, 2015 – On a derelict yet active farm on Route 416 in Montgomery, New York, an investigation conducted by the Hudson Valley SPCA led to the arrest on Saturday, October 10, 2015, of the owner on charges of animal abuse. More than 120 severely abused and neglected animals were seized by law enforcement, and then rescued by a coalition of sanctuaries, including Woodstock Farm Sanctuary (WFS), Farm Sanctuary, Catskill Animal Sanctuary, and Skyland Animal Sanctuary.

Corpses of some animals already dead were in various states of decay in pastures and barns. Severed heads and hooves littered a makeshift slaughterhouse stocked with blood-soaked chain saws and reciprocating saws. Charred hides and viscera of calves filled burn barrels. Goat remains – with front legs crossed and tied to the tops of fences – rotted where they’d been left to die tethered in agony. Barns six-inches deep in feces housed the living: pigs, sheep, chickens, goats and calves. Some animals so far appear healthy but the majority were malnourished and some suffered from serious yet untreated medical ailments.

The owner of the farm used the animals to supply his restaurant, at which area consumers have dined.

“People often think such abuse only occurs in factory farms, but that this happened on a small farm is no surprise to me after doing this work for so many years,” said Jenny Brown, WFS Executive Director. “As soon as an animal is nothing but a commodity or a unit of production, brutalizing the animal becomes a matter of expediency or profitability – and the animals pay for it, but so do the rest of us.”

Rescue teams from the sanctuaries gently rounded up the animals, so that police could carefully document the condition of each one before they boarded trailers for transport to their new homes.

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary’s team, equipped with expert caregivers and two large trailers, took in a young mother pig and her five piglets, as well as nine adult goats and five sheep. When the animals arrived at their new home in High Falls, New York, their joy was palpable.

“These animals, the ones who’ve really been through the worst abuse, openly express the happiness they feel in their new-found freedom,” said Jeff Lydon, WFS Director of Operations, who led the Woodstock rescue team. “The mother pig and her babies immediately started rutting in the soft ground, arranging their soft straw into beds, and enjoying fresh water and their first good meal in a long, long time – things pigs are born to do but that these pigs had never had a chance to do while waiting on death row in a dark, feces-filled pit.”

The rescued animals will spend the rest of their lives enjoying the highest standards of care and veterinary treatment. “They will need a lot of attention,” said Lila Weisbrot, WFS Assistant Caregiving Manager, who triaged animal needs during the rescue, “because they’re suffering from malnutrition, serious parasitic loads and other maladies as a result of their severe neglect.” When healthy, their example will teach the thousands who visit Woodstock Farm Sanctuary about what’s really too often involved in the consumption of farmed animals.

Susie Coston, Shelter Director at Farm Sanctuary, will lead in the rehabilitation of 50 animals, many of whom will be ultimately placed at other sanctuaries. Another partnering sanctuary, Catskill Animal Sanctuary, took in most of the healthier goats. And Skyland Sanctuary will house some of the pigs during a brief required quarantine period before the animals can be transported across state lines to a sanctuary in Texas.

Click on an image for a hi-res version.

Before: Momma and her piglets in a dank, stinky barn. Photo: George Brooks

Momma and her piglets in a dank, horribly smelly barn. Photo: George Brooks


Photo: George Brooks

Pens were accessed by holes cut in the walls. Photo: George Brooks


Photo: George Brooks

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary Director of Operations Jeff Lydon assisted rounding up goats, who were found wandering the property. Photo: George Brooks

Photo: George Brooks

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary Assistant Shelter Manager Lila Weisbrot helped document medical conditions. Photo: George Brooks


Each animal was documented by law enforcement officers. Photo: George Brooks

Each animal was documented by law enforcement officers. Photo: George Brooks


Photo: George Brooks

Piglets safe on one of Woodstock Farm Sanctuary’s trailers. Photo: George Brooks


Minutes after getting off the trailer: sunshine, grass and love at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. Photo: George Brooks

Minutes after getting off the trailer: sunshine, grass and love at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. Photo: George Brooks


Photo: George Brooks

The mother of 5 piglets was very young. Photo: George Brooks

Sanctuary Sustainer 2017