The owners of 32 horses and several other animals that were seized from an East Hampton facility in February appeared in court today.
Thomas Olajos, 36 and his wife, Melanie Olajos, 37, were arrested earlier this month after animal control officers accused the couple of failing to provide proper food, water, veterinary care and shelter to their animals. The couple were each charged with 35 counts of cruelty to animals.
U.S. & World
"If you don’t have the money or don’t have the home for a horse, don’t get one!” Cindy Andrews, an animal rights activist, said.
According to court documents, officers started checking on the facility once a month after a complaint was filed by a woman who had leased four horses from Fairy Tail Equine. In January, officers still found the horses underweight-- some with protruding hip bones and visible spines.
A veterinarian determined that the horses were neglected and underweight, according to the state Department of Agriculture.
When officers came to seize the animals, they found three dead chickens and stalls with about five inches of manure in them. Many stalls were without water or not enough grain for one feeding, the court documents said.
Many of the horses also had active lice infestation, had dermatitis and fecal material caked on their tails and legs. Officials said their manes and tails were matted and tangled.
The two dogs, both Great Danes, were so emaciated that their ribs, vertebrae and pelvic bones were visible, officials said.
One dog also had fleas, calluses on both elbows, excessive discharge in its ears, whipworms, profuse diarrhea and anemia.
The other dog, a 1-year-old old female, was underweight and also had fleas, conjunctivitis, and excessive discharge from both ears. The condition of the teeth suggested that the dog might have been chewing on rocks and dirt, officials said.
The chickens were underweight and malnourished when seized and most had little or no access to water.
Necropsies on three that were found dead during the seizure showed little content in their stomachs, minimal fat, skin lesions and intestinal perforation consistent with aggression and cannibalism.
The couple was relased on a $10,000 bond. They are expected to appear in court again on Apr. 12.
According to the court's website, the Olajoses do not have an attorney listed.