Stratham, NH – On Thursday, August 31, 2023, the New Hampshire SPCA assisted a local Police Department and the State Department of Agriculture following the service of a search warrant at a home. The owner was not on the property when police arrived and the animals and the home were found to be in horrifying conditions.  The Department of Agriculture ordered the animals to be removed. The New Hampshire SPCA took the animals into protective custody.  This case comes on the heels of a case last week where 35+ animals were surrendered following an investigation.

The conditions at the property were overwhelming.  “It was horrible,” said one of the NHSPCA staff members on site.  “The stench in the house was unbearable.”  The animals taken in by the NHSPCA included 5 dogs including a Great Dane, 8 cats, 10 rabbits, 2 turtles, an African Grey parrot, 8 donkeys, 2 mini-donkeys, 6 goats, a sheep and a horse.  Other animals taken to partner shelters included 3 additional dogs, dozens of farm fowl, a cow and a snake. 

Tona McCarthy, Humane Agent and Cruelty Investigator for the NHSPCA said that the animals were found without food or water, rabbits were in crates cakes with waste, cat litter boxes were overflowing. The authorities from the Department of Agriculture based on the condition of the animals and the condition of the site.  

The New Hampshire SPCA already has 163 animals in its care as of this morning.  The additional 39 animals coming from this case will once again push the organization well over 200 in care.  “This case is appalling.  The photos were absolutely nauseating.  Many of the animals appear to be severely underweight, filthy and have as yet undiagnosed medical conditions,” said Lisa Dennison, Executive Director. “The donkeys had hooves that haven’t seen a farrier in so long that they are curling back on themselves and were clearly in terrible pain simply trying to walk.  The ram hasn’t been shorn and was a mass of mud and muck.  What makes it all even worse is they now have to be held in protective custody while the court battles begin.  State law requires that a court decision be made within 14 days.  However, often that deadline is missed and the animals remain in protective custody often for many months.”

 The New Hampshire SPCA is asking for the community’s assistance in caring for these animals. If you would like to help with the cost of care and to help ensure their recovery, please make a tax-deductible contribution to the SOS Fund by clicking here. Gifts to the SOS Fund can also be made by phone at 603-772-2921 x 120 or by mail:  New Hampshire SPCA, PO Box 196, Stratham, NH 03885.  If you would like to help by making a donation of food, a list can be found here.

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