SIDNEY, Maine — State officials seized 28 farm animals from a Sidney farm Tuesday. Officials say the animals are malnourished, sick and in need of veterinary care.
Animal Welfare Program director Liam Hughes said they tried working with farm owner Mark Hughes, but when conditions weren’t improving they had to step in.
“At a certain point the agents had to take action for the animals, because the situation was not improving and the owner was not taking our notices seriously,” Hughes said Friday.
State officials took 23 goats, four calves and a chicken from the farm and brought them to a local animal shelter. Farm owner Mark Gould said he buys animals for a low price at auction, tries to nurture them, then sell them for a profit. He admits some of the animals he just bought may not have been in good health.
“These animals that were here all came from the auction. And, like I said, I don’t buy the good stuff right now. Let’s say a good calf is $500. I might have paid $25, and you hope that you can basically get it to come around,” Gould said Friday.
Gould has been cited for animal offenses in the past. Last summer he was charged with animal trespassing for allowing his goats to wander onto busy Interstate 95. Gould said he wants his animals back and insists they are healthy.
“The ones that I had for a month or a couple of months, they’re looking kind of fat,” Gould said.
The state is pursuing custody of the animals. Hughes would not say whether Gould is facing any charges but that they are discussing the case with the district attorney’s office.