27 charged in largest animal cruelty case in New England due in court

WESTPORT, MA (WHDH) - Twenty-seven people are due in court Tuesday to face animal cruelty charges in a case involving 1,400 animals living that were found living in “deplorable conditions” at a tenant farm in Westport last summer.

In July of 2016, police say officers discovered hundreds of dead and injured animals, makeshift cabins, burning trash and illegal stoves on the 70-acre property. They say many of the animals were kept in bad conditions. Some that were found with severe injuries or illness had to be put down.

Farm owner Richard Medeiros and 26 tenants were indicted in March in what’s considered New England’s largest animal abuse case.

Animal rights activists Roxanne Houghton and Jodi Greenleaf have been pushing for action from the start.

“I believe that these people need to be made an example of, because if they’re not,” said Greenleaf. “Things like this will happen again.”

Houghton and Greenleaf say the disturbing pictures of the animals helped make a case against Medeiros and the tenants.

“To think that people walked away,” said Greenleaf. “They saw these animals in these conditions and walked past it and walked away from it time and time again. When you look at the photos you see just tremendous suffering.”

Police say a similar situation was found on the same property in 2010. The animals have since been removed from the property and are now being cared for.

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