A loose horse prompted a call to Norfolk County OPP on Sunday that end up with a 63-year-old woman facing animal cruelty charges.
A passerby driving down Norfolk County Road 19 East spotted the horse in a ditch and called police after being unable to find the animal’s owner.
According to Norfolk OPP, officers responding to call found dozens of animals inside the house, prompting a call to the Ministry of the Solicitor General’s office.
Staff from the ministry’s animal welfare services found and seized 27 dogs, five cats, a pig and a guinea pig from the home.
With the help of volunteers and Norfolk firefighters, ministry investigators also removed three horses and two donkeys found on the property.
The accused is charged with “cruelty to animals — unnecessary pain, suffering or injury.” A court date is pending.
The investigation is ongoing and more animals were expected to be removed from the property on Monday, according to a spokesperson from the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
“Due to the fluid nature of this situation, animal welfare services cannot provide exact numbers of removed animals at this time,” Brent Ross told The Spectator in an email Monday afternoon.
“Given the OPP has filed criminal charges in this matter and because of the ongoing police and animal welfare services engagement, we are unable to provide further details.”
Ross did not answer written questions about the current whereabouts and condition of the animals, whether any had to be euthanized or in what state they were found.
J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator