WASHINGTON — The owner of Virginia farm that claimed to rescue animals is facing animal cruelty charges after numerous dead and neglected animals were found on the property.
Last week, investigators at Peaceable Farm in the Somerset, Virginia, area found six dead horses, one dead donkey and numerous dead cats, dogs and chickens.
More than 100 other animals have been removed from the farm.
The Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney says 27 counts of animal cruelty are pending against Anne Goland, also known as Anne Shumate Williams. Additional charges are expected.
Goland is being held without bond at the Central Virginia Regional Jail.
Attorney Thomas Purcell said Goland was doing everything she could to take care of the animals. Purcell said Goland had recently divorced her husband, who helped fund the farm, and was trying to take care of the animals with little financial and staffing help.
Orange County Sheriff Mark Amos says the farm is one of the most horrendous sights he has ever seen.
Some animals still remain on the farm, but investigators say they will be making periodic checks to ensure they are getting proper care.
ABC 7 reports Goland also ran a farm in Maryland, where last summer, Montgomery County Animal Services cited her for not giving her horses enough water.
For a while, her farm in Dickerson, Maryland, had to undergo weekly inspections to ensure the horses were OK.
But in July, ABC 7 reports Goland moved all of her horses to Virginia. The Montgomery County property is now up for sale.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Diana Wheeler says despite concerns from the public about those remaining animals, decisions made in the case are based on the requirements of Virginia law.
Investigators say animal rescue and horse breeding operations were happening at the farm, and they’ve contacted the Internal Revenue Service to check how the operations were funded.
The Sheriff’s Department has searched several storage units they say Goland was renting in Albemarle County, and investigators also have leads in both Maryland and Pennsylvania.
-The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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