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99 neglected sheep and 1 goose may be in state custody after AG Tong's announcement

The owner of the property David Chesnutis has been charged with animal cruelty

HARTFORD, Conn. — Attorney General William Tong is pushing for state custody of the 99 neglected sheep and one goose seized from a Beacon Falls farm in February.

Following a complaint from a neighbor, state animal control officers visited the property of David Chesnutis at 392 Lopus Road in Beacon Hills.

The five-acre property was said to be highly unsanitary, strewn with trash, empty beer cans, construction debris, wooden pallets, and empty food containers. The sheep were unshorn, with overgrown hooves.

Some were missing fleece and suffering from skin conditions, parasites, and lice. Numerous bones and carcasses of deceased sheep were found. The sheep lacked adequate food, shelter, and warmth for the winter conditions. 

Chesnutis allowed the officers to remove one ewe and one lamb in need of immediate medical care.

The officers secured a warrant and returned to the property the following day to seize 99 sheep and one goose. The owner of the property voluntarily consented to the removal of 21 cats who were transferred to the care of Woodbridge animal control. 

The sheep and goose are currently being cared for at the Department of Agriculture’s Second Change Large Animal Rehabilitation Facility in Niantic.

The State of Connecticut has also charged Chesnutis with the crime of animal cruelty.

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“The conditions at this property were beyond deplorable, and the sheep were severely neglected. We are moving for permanent state custody to ensure these animals receive the care and treatment they urgently require and deserve,” said Tong in a statement. “State intervention is a last resort in cases of severe neglect and abuse. If you are an animal owner in need, please reach out to the state, your town, or any one of our state’s animal welfare non-profits to ask for help before any animal is harmed.”

“I commend the swift actions of our state’s animal control unit and Regulatory Services staff, along with municipal animal control officers from surrounding towns, to ensure that the animals in question were safely transported to receive the care and medical treatment needed,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “We are grateful for the support of the Attorney General’s office in this matter.”


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