HANOVER Co., Va. (WWBT) – The Hanover County Animal Control and other agencies found multiple livestock animals dead and removed several others from a property in Mechanicsville.
On Aug. 9, officers executed a search warrant for alleged cruelty to agricultural animals in the 6600 block of Mattawan Trail.
Officials said 10 pigs, seven goats, four sheep, two horses, one mule pony, two cows, and 59 chickens were removed from the property.
Animal control also found about 23 dead livestock animals and numerous dead chickens.
Neighbors who live near the home said the neglect of those animals had been an ongoing issue for years.
“It was just like a massive decline of ‘oh wow, like, these new animals are here,’” Alexis Tucker said. “Then you’d go by and be like, ‘oh my gosh, they’re incredibly skinny.’”
Tucker said for years, she’s had to leave and come home to the site of pigs, goats, horses, sheep and cows wilting away.
“They have nothing to eat. No grass at times, so it’s just incredibly sad to drive by that every single day and not be able to do anything besides up call animal control, as you know, 160 plus times with no outcome until last night,” Tucker said.
Tucker said Tuesday evening, many of the animals escaped from a hole in the fence, and that’s when animal control showed up.
“There were probably at least 20 different vehicles from animal control, Sussex County vehicles, trailers, Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, all working together trying to try – at this point – get those animals out,” Tucker said.
All animals rescued are now housed at numerous facilities for proper care.
The state lab will determine the cause of death of the animals.
Authorities are investigating, and pending charges, but some neighbors feel justice is too late for those animals.
“I think not only did the man that lives there let them down, but Hanover County has let them down as well with this,” Tucker said. “With not being able to help them.”
Chief Jeff Parker with Hanover Animal Control said there had been a history of misdemeanor violations at this property, some of those charges still pending in court.
He said what happened on Tuesday took months of work between the department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
“I know it’s frustrating on their end to see these animals out there, but things took time for us to go out there and perform our duties and save the animals to give them proper care,” Parker said.
“Hanover County Animal Control is incredibly thankful for the support of the other localities, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, and volunteers assisting with this operation. This operation would not be possible without their quick action and providing their own resources to remove and transport the animals to a safe location,” a release said.
Hanover officials did not yet release the name of the one suspect involved.
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