A Massachusetts man faced a judge on Wednesday after being accused of animal cruelty.
Earlier in December, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals removed dozens of cows, pigs, and sheep from the Westford Road property of Ralph McNiff. Court documents show that investigators visited the property and saw some animals standing in squalor, smelled decaying animals, and observed many living in poor conditions.
Ralph McNiff's son Troy, was the one who was arraigned on 7 counts of felony animal cruelty in Ayer District Court.
When necn stopped by the farm, he wasn’t available for comment, but according to court documents, he admitted his wrongdoing to investigators in a statement.
“I will tell you that the shelter is unsuitable, I do the best when I can. I have people who are supposed to be helping. I am 100 percent wrong.”
Troy McNiff's nephew, Corey Arnold says the family was primarily involved in selling and buying animals at auction. They’re now trying to figure out the next steps.
“I just think it’s ridiculous what they’re doing to him,” Arnold said.
Investigators said they did not find enough evidence to charge Ralph McNiff. Troy McNiff has another court date in February.
Town leaders say it will take months to clear the entire area, at the expense of tax payers.