Eight critically endangered cows are among a group of farm animals seeking a permanent home after their rescue last month from an owner now facing nearly three dozen animal cruelty charges.
The eight Kerry cattle — a “very rare” breed of bovine — were taken from an Amherst farm last month along with a cow of another species and more than 20 goats. They are now up for adoption by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
When MSPCA representatives visited the Amherst farm last month on a tip from an animal welfare officer, they found the cows and goats in a dismal state, the organization said.
“It was very clear upon arrival that the animals were in very serious trouble, with one cow having already died and the others in need of dire medical attention,” said Tom Grenham, director of law enforcement at the MSPCA.
A veterinarian listed each of the animals as severely neglected and malnourished, and all were infected with internal or external parasites. A cow and two goats were suffering and euthanized at the farm, the MSPCA said.
“Unfortunately, our team was unable to save three animals who needed to be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian on the scene, which reinforces the disturbing nature of the case,” Grenham said. He said his organization was grateful to the Amherst Police Department and state Department of Agriculture Resources’ Division of Animal Health for their assistance.
The MSPCA said it had since filed 35 felony animal cruelty charges against Shannon Rice-Nichols of Hadley, the facility’s owner.
The animals are now living at the MSPCA’s Nevins Farm facility in Methuen.