RAVENNA, Ohio (WJW)– A dozen animals were found neglected, bug-infested and living in filth.
Rescuers from Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary in Ravenna were called in to assist the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County on March 8. The barn was located in rural Trumbull County and is difficult to see from the road.
Once inside, rescuers found extremely unhealthy and unsafe living conditions, said Laurie Jackson, a spokesperson for HTFAS.
“It was pretty bad. Manure piled high 2 feet, 3 feet high and cobwebs, very dark. We had to use flashlights. I don’t think there was electricity in there and probably shouldn’t have been because of the cobwebs,” Jackson said.
The cobwebs alone were so thick you couldn’t even see the roof, which was a serious fire hazard and the animals were clearly in poor shape.
An alpaca named Nora’s fleece was bug-infested, matted and appeared to have never been sheared. Five goats had lice and there was a horse with his head caught in a metal gate.
“They’ve not been well cared for,” Jackson said. “The owner in the end cooperated with humane officers and signed them over to Trumbull County, and in turn they signed them over to us.”
Twelve farm animals were removed and taken to the 11-acre Happy Trails sanctuary, which is a non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes criminally abused, neglected and abandoned farm animals.
Along with the five goats and alpaca, were three ponies, a rooster, a hen and a donkey named Oscar, who was afraid of humans at first and had never been trained to use a harness. But just a week later, Jackson said he is much happier and he even nuzzled the FOX 8 news camera.
All of the animals have been groomed and undergoing rehabilitation while being treated by a veterinarian.
“Doing deworming, hoof care farrier, vaccinations. All the things that should’ve been done,” Jackson said. “And I think rehabilitation will go well. And my hope for them is that they find a loving home with people who care for them and a family to call my own.”
The sanctuary’s been around for about 20 years, and in the last six years alone has rescued and re-homed about 900 farm animals.
Those that don’t find homes stay at the sanctuary where they are treated like family including a dwarf pony and multiple pigs.
But Jackson said another big part of HTFAS is educating the public and preventing animal abuse and neglect.
Some cats and dogs were also removed from the property. Officials said charges are currently pending against the owner.
“I think for people who get in over their heads, before that happens, before it gets to this state, call somebody, call us, call your local humane agent. They’re not just there to take animals away, they’re there to help you,” Jackson said.
For more information on Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary and the current animals up for adoption call 330-296-5914