Officials satisfied with efforts at farm

Authorities monitoring a Johnstown area goat farm where about 40 dead goats were found March 20 said
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Authorities monitoring a Johnstown area goat farm where about 40 dead goats were found March 20 said Monday they are satisfied with the progress the owner is making with animal care and cleanup.

Fulton County SPCA Director Sharon Hayes said farm operator Robin Dillenbeck has disposed of the carcasses and has obtained sufficient food supplies to care for the remaining herd of about 150 animals.

Dillenbeck, 54, of Edick Road, Sammonsville, was cited last week on one count of misdemeanor animal neglect after SPCA and Fulton County Sheriff’s Department officials were called to the Firebreak Road farm. An anonymous caller reported observing dead goats on the premises.

Fulton County District Attorney Louise K. Sira joined the two agencies on the initial farm inspection.

Lorey said Monday that Dillenbeck was advised to substantially reduce the size of her herd.

Lorey and Hayes, accompanied by a veterinary technician, visited the farm again Friday to check on Dillenbeck’s progress.

“She did everything she was asked to do …  she is cooperating,” said Hayes. As a safeguard, Hayes said an order obtained from Town Court gives the monitoring agencies authority to enter the property at any time to check on the goats.

Whether any additional charges are filed in the case, Hayes said, depends on Dillenbeck’s continued efforts to care for the herd. “I’m not letting my guard down. I can’t,” said Hayes.

Hayes said it is apparent Dillenbeck was feeding the goats, but had insufficient supplies to sustain her large herd. Adequate food was on the premises during Friday’s visit, she said.

Lorey said Dillenbeck told officials the herd grew beyond her ability to care for it because she loved all the animals too much to sell them.

Officials said last week the farm was set up as a business to sell goats for their meat.

Hayes said Dillenbeck disposed of the larger carcasses through a company that handles dead farm animals. The smaller goats were buried on the farm, she said.

Hayes said Dillenbeck has an appointment with a veterinarian who will visit the farm. Dillenbeck has been renting the farm for 16 years, officials said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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