CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - It was one of the worst animal hoarding cases Louisa County had ever seen. More than 500 animals were seized from a farm in November of 2017, crammed onto one property. Many of the goats, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, sheep and cows were starved or injured.
Five months later, dozens of those animals are still in shelters.
The Richmond Wildlife Center in Chesterfield took in nearly 100 of the animals which were in most need from the raid.
"We tried to take many of the sickest animals that were seized," said Melissa Stanley, executive director of the Richmond Wildlife Center. "The main issue with most of the adults were they were very skinny, underfed… starvation cases. So, getting them back to good health took a while."
Thankfully, life is much better for dozens of birds, rabbits and guinea pigs still at the center. They're now healed and well-fed, but some will have lasting injuries.
"A lot of the guinea pigs have eye issues. Some of them are blind in one eye," said Stanley.
Nine rescues from across Virginia and North Carolina took in the massive number of animals, nurturing them for a second chance at life. Hundreds of goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds - some exotic - have since been adopted. Others will spend the rest of their lives in special sanctuaries.
The horses, cows and sheep found on the Louisa property were in decent shape, according to animal control officers. Those animals are still there. However, the farm has a new owner, who is properly caring for them. Animal control makes weekly visits.
Still, many of the animals seized are still without a permanent home.
The Richmond Wildlife Center mostly rehabs animals found in a natural habitat, like possums, owls or turtles. The rescue farm animals have been taking up all the lodging since December.
"We need to get these guys adopted so that we can take in hawks and owls…wildlife that's native, that's sick and injured, that needs our veterinary help," continued Stanley.
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