Attorney General Tong Moves for State Custody of Neglected Animals Seized from Suffield Farm
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong this morning filed a motion for permanent custody of nearly 200 severely neglected animals seized from a Suffield farm last month.
Following an investigation, the CT Department of Agriculture Animal Control Unit, Suffield Police and Animal Control coordinated an operation that resulted in 18 cattle, 137 chickens, 33 ducks and six Great Pyrenees dogs seized from a farm leased by Rachel Kornstein of Manchester. The animals were emaciated, severely dehydrated, and suffering from untreated wounds and infections. Local officials were alerted to the situation by a veterinarian called to assist in the birth of a calf. The calf's mother was so malnourished she could not produce milk or move and died soon after giving birth. The conditions at the site also included evidence of several dead and decaying chickens. All the animals showed signed of severe neglect.
In a motion filed in Hartford Superior Court today on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Attorney General Tong moved for permanent state custody of the animals. The motion also requests the court order Ms. Kornstein to provide daily compensation to the Department of Agriculture for the temporary care of the animals.
"No animal should ever suffer like this. The cows, chickens, ducks and dogs seized from this farm were severely malnourished, dehydrated, and suffering from multiple untreated infections. We are seeking permanent state custody of these animals to ensure they receive the proper care and attention they need and deserve," said Attorney General Tong.
“The Department of Agriculture has a responsibility to interfere to prevent any act of cruelty upon an animal and to ensure the proper care and custody of animals in our state. When owners can’t, or won’t, provide that proper care, we step in. We are currently caring for and evaluating the cows, chickens, and ducks as they recover. This was a great demonstration of coordination and cooperation between local and state agencies to execute the seizure in the best interest of the animals,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt.
“Suffield is known for its proud history as a town of farms where caring for the land and its animals is a sacred trust. I know I speak for all of our residents when I say how deeply saddened we are that this neglect happened in our community. We are tremendously grateful to the land owner, veterinarian, Suffield’s animal control officer and the CT Department of Agriculture who stepped in to rescue these neglected animals," said Suffield First Selectman Melissa M. Mack.
Most of the animals are currently at the Department of Agriculture Large Animal Rehabilitation Facility in Niantic.
Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Harding and Assistant Attorney General Matt Levine, Head of the Environment Department, assisted the Attorney General in this matter.