Drone used to find alleged animal abuse

Many of the animals are going to foster families

Credit: News10

BERNE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Forty animals were removed from a rundown farm in Berne and their owner is facing charges.

Many of the animals are going to foster families. We’re now getting a look from the skies at a property that claimed to be an animal rescue organization.

Linda Mellin helped Albany County deputies and volunteers remove horses, pigs, and goats from her farm where she’s accused of not feeding them.

“This is supposedly a rescue facility and they’re in muck it’s just disgusting,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.

For the first time in a neglect case, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office used drones to get a lay of the land.

“Just to indicate the lack of and the lack of shelter,” Sheriff Apple said.

Cindy Medje, who lives nearby, with her retired show horse Tate.

“He is a 10-year-old quarter horse gelding, recently retired this year,” Medje said.

A few years ago she helped transport a horse for Mellin and thought her intentions were pure.

“I think it was just a case of she got in over her head.”

She only wishes Mellin had reached out.

“We’ll pull together that’s the big thing.”

The Albany County Sheriff’s Office is helping too with the one breed that no one offered to take in.

“No one wanted the pigs so we’re going to take the pigs,” Sheriff Apple said.

That’s right, seven pigs, some of them pregnant, may soon call the Albany County Jail home. That’s where they’ll feast on wasted food and be cared for by inmates.

“It’s a life in prison but it will be better.”

It’s really a team effort getting the animals brought to safety as Linda Mellin awaits her day in court.