Authorities have seized more than 100 farm animals from Peaceable Farm in Orange County, Virginia, after a weeklong investigation regarding animal cruelty allegations against the owner, Anne Goland.
“Criminal charges are pending, and at this time there are 27 counts of animal cruelty that have been charged, involving chickens, cats, dogs and horses,” a lawyer for the prosecution, Diana Wheeler confirmed in a statement.
Goland’s property drew the attention of investigators after a local resident reported the presence of several dead horses on the farm. When authorities arrived, they found five more horses that required euthanasia, and made the decision to remove a total of 81 horses from the property.
As a listed non-profit organization, Peaceable Farm — which borrows its name from a word meaning “free from strife or disorder” — is also reportedly being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service for fraud.
“What I saw was one of the most horrendous sights I've ever seen in 28 years of law enforcement,” Orange County sheriff Mark Amos said. “We found six dead horses, one dead donkey, many dogs, cats and chickens.”
The defense team for Goland, who has been denied bond after being deemed a flight risk, has said that their client was forced to rely on her own money for animal care after funds from a non-profit stopped last year.