BOSTON, Feb. 12, 2015 – It’s been one year since the MSPCA-Nevins Farm and the Animal Rescue League of Boston rescued 35 cold, emaciated animals from a farm in Ludlow, Mass. and charged their former owner with 36 counts of animal cruelty and a series of other offenses.
Twelve months on and the survivors of that terrible ordeal are thriving in their new homes. While one of the ponies taken to Nevins Farm died shortly after their rescue, the remaining five—in addition to a handful of donkeys, pigs, goats, alpacas, ducks, sheep and an emu (who comprised the 23 animals taken to Nevins Farm)—were adopted weeks after their rescue.
According to Kieszek, the trauma of their previous life was at first very difficult for the animals to overcome. “While they immediately bonded with the other animals on our property, Lenny and Sheldon were wary of humans, and for months preferred the security of their stall vs. the world outside the barn,” she said.
Lenny and Sheldon’s Remarkable Recovery
Two animals in particular, alpacas Lenny and Sheldon, have experienced a reversal of fortune that could warm the coldest of hearts. Both alpacas were undernourished and emaciated prior to their rescue and Lenny spent weeks in intensive care at Tufts University’s Hospital for Large Animals in Grafton, Mass., before the two friends were adopted by Lynn Kieszek and Justin Skoronski of Easthampton.
Kieszek and Skoronski, whose property is home to several other farm animals, worked patiently to win the trust of the alpacas, easing them gradually out of their shell. And their efforts have paid off. “Lenny and Sheldon have transitioned from being terrified of human contact to feeling secure—even eager—to greet us in the morning. It’s been a very special process to witness, and we’re so glad to be able to provide them the life they deserve.”
Emmett the Emu Feathers His New Nest
By far the rarest of the animals rescued on that fateful day is Emmett, an emu who spent several weeks at Nevins Farm, where his beautiful feathers and dinosaur-like gait fascinated staff and visitors alike, before going to his new home at the Borgstein Alpaca Farm in Medfield. Emmett was ultimately adopted—along with the other two alpacas, now named “Sherlock” and “Watson”—by the farm’s owner, Karen Borgstein.
“When Emmett first arrived on our farm I had no idea what I was getting myself into, as I’d never kept such an exotic animal before,” said Borgstein. “But then the most amazing thing happened: the other horses and alpacas accepted Emmett as one of their own, which made the settling in all the easier.”
Borgstein said that while Emmett enjoys having other animals around, he keeps to himself and mostly enjoys the company of humans who visit the bucolic farm, which is also home to horses and 18 other alpacas. “Many folks find his size—he stands over six feet tall—intimidating. But they’re soon petting him, which warms our hearts. We really can’t imagine our farm without him.”
The other animals were transitioned to new homes around New England in the weeks after the MSPCA and the Animal Rescue League came to their aid.
Meanwhile, the animals’ former owner, Dean Manual of Ludlow, faced dozens of felony animal cruelty charges plus two counts of assault and battery on a police officer and one count of resisting arrest. The case against Manual is ongoing.
The MSPCA-Angell’s three state-wide animal care and adoption centers take in, and place into new homes, thousands of homeless dogs, cats and other animals every year. Readers can contribute directly toward the care of these animals by clicking here.