Attorney General Tong Moves For State Custody of 99 Neglected Sheep and One Goose Seized from Beacon Falls Home
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today moved for state custody of 99 neglected sheep and one goose seized from a Beacon Falls farm in February.
Following a complaint from a concerned neighbor, state animal control officers last month visited the five-acre property at 392 Lopus Road in Beacon Falls owned by David Chesnutis. The property was highly unsanitary, strewn with trash, empty beer cans, construction debris, wooden pallets, and empty food containers. The sheep were unshorn, with overgrown hooves. Some were missing fleece and suffering from skin conditions, parasites, and lice. Numerous bones and carcasses of deceased sheep were found. The sheep lacked adequate food, shelter, and warmth for the winter conditions. Chesnutis voluntarily allowed the officers to remove one ewe and one lamb in need of immediate medical care.
The officers secured a warrant and returned to the property the following day to seize 99 sheep and one goose. The owner of the property voluntarily consented to the removal of 21 cats who were transferred to the care of Woodbridge animal control. The sheep and goose are currently being cared for at the Department of Agriculture’s Second Change Large Animal Rehabilitation Facility in Niantic.
The State of Connecticut has also charged Chesnutis with the crime of animal cruelty in violation of CGS 53-247.
“The conditions at this property were beyond deplorable, and the sheep were severely neglected. We are moving for permanent state custody to ensure these animals receive the care and treatment they urgently require and deserve,” said Attorney General Tong. “State intervention is a last resort in cases of severe neglect and abuse. If you are an animal owner in need, please reach out to the state, your town, or any one of our state’s animal welfare non-profits to ask for help before any animal is harmed.”
“I commend the swift actions of our state’s animal control unit and Regulatory Services staff, along with municipal animal control officers from surrounding towns, to ensure that the animals in question were safely transported to receive the care and medical treatment needed,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “We are grateful for the support of the Attorney General’s office in this matter.”
If you suspect animal cruelty, reports can be made directly to the local animal control department or contact the Department of Agriculture at 860-713-2506 or AGR.AnimalControl@ct.gov.
Assistant Attorney General Daniel Salton and Deputy Associate Attorney General Matthew Levine, Head of the Environment Section, assisted the Attorney General in this matter.