Dead goats found on farm

A town woman is charged with one count of misdemeanor animal neglect after authorities inspected a g

A town woman is charged with one count of misdemeanor animal neglect after authorities inspected a goat farm she operates and found more than 40 dead goats and at least 150 more in poor condition, officials said.

Robin Dillenbeck, no age available, of Edick Road in Sammonsville, was cited last week by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department after the SPCA responded to an anonymous call about the farm operation on Firebreak Road in the town of Johnstown.

SPCA Director Sharon Hayes was accompanied Thursday by Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey and deputies and District Attorney Louise K. Sira.

Sira said she is still waiting to learn all the circumstances that led to this situation and said she would reserve comment until after the investigation is completed.

Among the dead goats was a dead sheep, Hayes said.

Hayes said she is also awaiting more information before making final determinations about Dillenbeck’s goat farm and an explanation for the animal deaths. But Hayes said there were only four bales of hay and a couple bags of grain on the premises to feed more than 150 animals.

The goats are infested with lice and parasites, making them unfit to be associated with healthy animals, either at a shelter or on another farm, Hayes said.

As a result, the animals will be kept at Dillenbeck’s farm on the condition she has an appointment with a veterinarian by Friday, when Hayes and Lorey return for an inspection, Hayes said.

“I think the problem should be contained [at the farm], and we’ll start working on it from there,” she said.

Removing animals in that condition, she said, “is only going to move the problem.”

It appears, Hayes said, that Dillenbeck has rented the property for 16 years. Dillenbeck told authorities she had a business selling goats for meat.

During the inspection, Hayes said, garbage bags containing dead goats were observed in pens among living goats. Some goats were bald as a result of lice infestations, Hayes said.

Hayes said Dillenbeck’s family members have pledged to assist Dillenbeck in burying the dead animals and nursing the surviving animals to health.

Sira said neighbors of the farm expressed concern about contamination of area wells from spring runoff. Sira said the state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation have been contacted.

Categories: Schenectady County

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