Stratham, NH — On Tuesday, May 21, 2024, the New Hampshire SPCA assisted the Lee Police Department in the service of a search warrant at a farm. The owner was on the property when police and NHSPCA vehicles arrived. The barn and grounds were found to be in unsafe and filthy conditions. The animals were suffering from a variety of serious health concerns and the veterinarians on site recommended the animals be removed due to their severe conditions. The NHSPCA took the animals into protective custody and they have since been surrendered.

This case came to the NHSPCA because a visitor to the farm was concerned about the unsanitary living conditions and the apparent poor health of some of the herd. The goats were living in extremely unhealthy conditions. The stalls were filled 2-3 feet deep with hay saturated with urine and feces. The ages of the animals are unknown but range from newborn to adult. Male and female animals were co-mingled and some of the females are pregnant. The ammonia level in the barn from the extensive urine was well over the high healthy limit of 25 ppm and registered 58 ppm.

Several of the adult goats were hobbled and attempting to walk on their knees. This is likely due to a condition called CAE, which causes crippling symptoms and severe pain. Others were suffering from malnutrition and were extremely weak. Water, on a day with temperatures in the 90’s, was only available outside where some of the goats were completely unable to reach it.

The two veterinarians on site yesterday are here again today to further assess the condition of each goat and determine the course of treatment. “We have already lost one adult female since arriving yesterday,” said Lisa Dennison, NHSPCA Executive Director. “She was completely depleted from lack of food and water. While we attempted to give her what she needed, it was simply too late for her. We only hope that we have reached the rest in enough time to bring about healing and better outcomes. We anticipate our veterinarians will have a more detailed report later today on body conditions and what treatments will be needed going forward.”

Tona McCarthy, Humane Agent and Cruelty Investigator for the NHSPCA, said deceased animals were found on the property as well. “The concerned person that made this report did the absolute right thing for these animals. We tried to work with the owner to improve conditions, but it simply didn’t happen, and the animals needed to be removed for their well-being.”

Including the goats, the New Hampshire SPCA currently has 266 animals in care, an overwhelming number. “Animal neglect and cruelty cases have been on the rise over the past 12 months. We are seeing it all over the state. This one is particularly difficult because we can see the animals have been suffering for some time, and those that can barely walk need immediate care,” said Lisa Dennison. “There will be a long road to recovery for many of these poor goats. We are grateful that our community is always willing to help when the animals need us.”

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. 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, please view our Urgent Amazon Wish List.