SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - Animal welfare activists removed hundreds of chickens, cows, goats and even some dogs from a farm in Sunrise after concerning reports of animal cruelty and neglect.
Volunteers with the Animal Recovery Mission, or ARM, picked up 300 animals from the wooded property off Commercial Boulevard in Sunrise, Thursday, in what appeared to be filthy conditions.
“These procedures are very expensive. I have animals at three different vets, which is extremely expensive,” said Rachel Taylor of ARM. “I’ve gotta find food for these animals. I’ve gotta build shelters.”
“They are completely and utterly emaciated, locked down, some of them without water,” said Richard Couto of ARM.
Couto said ARM received a tip from a good Samaritan about the animals living in deplorable conditions. “We went undercover on the property. We quickly contacted the Sunrise Police Department.”
Volunteers walked the large property to check out the conditions. “Back here is like no man’s land,” Taylor said. “We just walked part of it. This is 50th Street, and it goes all the way back to 44th Street. It’s like no animals are put inside cages.”
7News cameras captured a baby goat hooked up to an intravenous drip, as well as an ARM volunteer holding a puppy in need of flea treatment, medical care and a new home.
“There was also sacrifice and slaughter was being done on here,” said Taylor. “We just saw chains hanging from the trees and ropes where they strangled the animals.”
Cellphone video shot by volunteers captured the remains of two animals. Two others had to be euthanized.
“Dead animals are laying with the live animals. They were all basically together,” said Couto.
Officers were on hand Thursday as the owner of the animals voluntarily gave them up to ARM, as police continued their investigation.
“Sunrise PD and law enforcement made this life-saving event happen,” said Taylor. “It’s not always like this. We get resistance, as you’ve seen in the past.”
The owner of the animals remained silent when a 7News crew asked him whether they were being fed.
But another man, named Kevin, said the owner was caring for the animals. “There might be some sick goats, but he bought medicine to take care of them,” he said. “He’s taking care of the animals.”
However, the owner changed his mind about giving up one of the puppies. 7News cameras showed him taking the canine from an ARM volunteer.
“Whoa, whoa! Get the cops, now,” said Couto as he approached the owner.
In the end, that puppy and others were taken to an animal hospital. Goats, cows and a pony were taken to an animal sanctuary.
“It’s critical to get these animals out of here, get treated. This is a developing case right now with the Sunrise PD on felony charges,” Taylor said.
Couto said the owner has not been charged but added that police “are building a case.”
ARM has been on the scene for two days. It will take months and possibly years before these animals are fully recovered.
ARM does not tend to deal with household pets, so the puppies that were taken from the farm will need to find forever homes. If you’d like more information, click here.
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