Farmers charged in death of cows

HILLSDALE–The Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA, Deputy Cindy Madison and Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Michael Merante charged the owners of Sunny Mead Farm with animal cruelty, April 19 at 9:19 p.m.

Both agencies were called to the farm April 12 when passers-by reported seeing dead cows there.

SPCA investigators and sheriff’s deputies found four cows and seven calves dead. According to a humane society press release, investigators also found numerous emaciated cows without proper food and water, even though some animal food and water was found on the farm.

The humane society arranged for hay to be brought in to feed the more 50 cows and 30 calves on the farm.

Dr. Jerry Bilinski of the Chatham Small Animal Hospital and Equine Medical Center was summoned by the humane society to examine the cows and make recommendations.

“All stock is currently receiving the proper food and water and time will tell if they all will make a full recovery,” Ron Perez, president/investigator with the humane society, said in the release.

James Clapp, 76, Ida Clapp, 74, and Charles Clapp, 48, were charged with 33 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty: failure to provide proper sustenance. The penalty for the charge is up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, according to the press release.

The Clapps were released with appearance tickets directing them to answer the charges in Hillsdale Court April 28.

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