EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 17, 2014

35 emaciated animals seized from farm

By Sara Brown

---- — METHUEN — The MSPCA-Angell’s Law Enforcement department says that it rescued 35 emaciated animals from a Ludlow farm, and charged their owner with 36 counts of animal cruelty.

The animals — four donkeys, eight ponies, six pigs (including three piglets), four goats, four alpacas, four ducks, two sheep, a goose, an emu, and a bunny — were seized with the help of the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Twelve animals were taken to the Animal Rescue League’s facility in Dedham. The rest were taken to the MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen.

Dean Manual, 43, also faces two counts of assault and battery on a police officer and one count of resisting arrest.

Most of the animals were found severely underweight, according to the MSPCA.

On Dec. 10, the MSPCA says that it saw the ponies and donkeys on Manual’s property living in pens with no food, water or protection from the elements. The MSPCA says that they animals were wet and covered with ice and snow.

The organization gave Manual until Dec. 17 to build proper shelter for the animals, which the MSPCA says that he failed to do.

A spokesperson for the MSPCA said that one pony was so emaciated that it’s been placed on a monitored re-feeding program.

“One alpaca was so weak that he could not stand on his own and was sent to the Tufts veterinary center in Grafton. The animal remains in the critical care unit while veterinarians determine the full extent of his health issues and how they may be treated,” Director of Public Relations Rob Halpin said.

The MSPCA also said that some of the ponies have overgrown hooves. All of the animals will undergo further veterinary exams to assess other health issues that must be treated.

Halpin said some of the animals are believed to be pregnant but could not comment on which animals were.

“They are generally doing OK,” he said. “We have most of the animals on a careful re-feeding program.”

While the animals are being cared for at the Nevins Farm, they are still technically under the custody of Manual. Halpin said the MSPCA is currently fighting for custody of the animals in court.

Nevins Farm has set up a donation page for residents to contribute to the care of the animals. Click www.mspca.org/ludlowanimals

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