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Animals Rescued from Deplorable Conditions on Ludlow Farm Find New Homes

BOSTON, March 25, 2014 – Barely a month has passed since the MSPCA-Angell’s dramatic seizure of 35 emaciated animals from a Ludlow, Mass. farm and now two of the alpacas, “Raj” and “Howie,” as well as “Emmet” the emu are off to permanent homes, the MSPCA-Nevins Farm announced today.  More animals, including at least one pony, will be leaving the farm for new homes later this week.

Simultaneously, the Nevins Farm’s team, which has been caring for 23 of the animals since their seizure, reports that two of the rescued ponies—“Jelly Bean” and “Flower”—are pregnant and each are due to give birth to a single foal sometime in April.

Raj, Howie and Emmet were adopted by a Massachusetts family who, because of the sensitive nature of the case, are not being identified. The family opted to adopt the animals after hearing the moving account of their rescue from deplorable conditions that left them sick, emaciated and depressed.

Alpacas Howie (white) and Raj (brown) enjoy one last breakfast together before leaving MSPCA-Nevins Farm (credit MSPCA-Angell)

Alpacas Howie (white) and Raj (brown) enjoy one last breakfast together before leaving MSPCA-Nevins Farm (credit MSPCA-Angell)

Said Melissa Ghareeb, who oversees the care of organization’s farm animals: “Obviously it’s very exciting for all of us to see these animals thriving so soon after their rescue.  Nursing these animals—and indeed all of the creatures in our care—back to full health is the most rewarding part of this job.”  Ghareeb also extended her gratitude to the adopters.  “By opening their hearts and homes to these animals they have also opened more  space at our farm for the next homeless animal who comes to stay with us.”

Two other alpacas, “Lenny” and “Sheldon,” are also going to a new home in Massachusetts.  The two animals have formed a close bond, with Sheldon warmly greeting Lenny on Feb. 18 upon his transfer to Nevins Farm after spending 11 days at the Tufts University Cummings School of Medicine, where he was treated for complications arising from severe malnutrition.

Pregnant Ponies

While the Nevins Farm team prepares the first five animals for transfer to their new homes, two of the rescued ponies are due to give birth in April.  “This was an unexpected surprise,” said Ghareeb, referring to Jelly Bean and Flower’s pregnancies.  The Nevins Farm team stressed that both ponies are available for adoption.

Ongoing Criminal Investigation
The MSPCA-Angell’s Law Enforcement department has charged the animals’ previous owner, Dean Manuel of Ludlow, with 36 counts of felony animal cruelty, two counts of assault and battery on a police officer and one count of resisting arrest.  He was arraigned on Feb. 12 in Palmer District Court and his pre-trial hearing is scheduled for April 29.

Raj, Howie, Emmet, Lenny and Sheldon were among 35 animals seized from the property on Feb. 7.  Twenty three of the animals were taken to the MSPCA-Nevins Farm and the remainder were taken to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Dedham facility.

The majority of the animals were suffering from prolonged neglect and starvation that resulted in dental disease, overgrown hooves, internal and external parasites and other health problems.  The cost of caring for the animals has run into the thousands of dollars and the MSPCA-Nevins Farm has set up a donation page to enable members of the community to contribute to the care of the animals, and others like them.

About the MSPCA-Angell
The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions from individuals who care about animals. Please visit