Farm animals seized after animal cruelty arrest

(News10)

WESTERLO, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Investigators are still rescuing animals from a farm in Westerlo.

Many have nowhere to go after they were found living in deplorable conditions.

The Albany County Sheriff’s Office has had to rescue so many different farm animals recently that they’re running out of places to put them, so this barn will become a shelter.

A woman who bought a dog from that farm in Westerlo says finally something is being done.

“Had he stayed down there he’d probably been dead.”

Lucy Boerenko didn’t know it at the time but buying her now 4-year-old Jack Russell terrier from a Westerlo farm meant rescuing him.

He came from the same place where Albany County Sheriff’s investigators recently found dozens of 56 dogs, 16 horses, 27 goats, and hundreds of birds living in deplorable conditions.

The owner, 64-year old Tanja Morse, advertises as a breeder but Boernenko says Joey was plagued with many health problems.

“It was horrible. It was horrible even back then. I have to wonder how many people are out there that also purchased dogs from her. And what kind of shape are those dogs in?”

The good news for these dogs, they’re now in the care of Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

“We’ll be placing these dogs for adoption we don’t yet know when they’ll be ready,” Tom Cramer, Executive Director at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, said, “We have to medically evaluate them, provide any socialization they might need.”

Where do you put dozens of farm animals? It’s a difficult case where resources run thin.

“A lot of the rescue shelters are like maxing out. I mean unfortunately this type of crime is occurring more and more,” Albany Sheriff Craig Apple said.

That’s why Sheriff Apple is turning the county-owned barn into a shelter. It’s a temporary home for animals in cases of abuse and neglect who have nowhere else to go.

“So some of these animals we’ll be able to remove from the property entirely, take down to our facility, feed them and then try to adopt them out and get them healthy in the meantime”

That’s a relief for Boerenko, who doesn’t want another family to have to go through this.

“He’s come so far and that comes with a lot of perseverance.”

The idea here is to have inmates come out and help take care of the animals at this shelter.

Investigators are at the Westerlo farm every day actively working on this case.

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