Advocates hold vigil for animals found at Westport site

It’s been more than a month since 1,400 animals were found living in deplorable conditions at a farm in Westport.

The community held a vigil outside of the Westport Town Hall Annex Monday night to remember the animals that died and suffered.

A musician performed “Amazing Grace” as a crowd gathered in support of animal rights. The tribute moved some to tears, including Sherri Walsh.

“It was very emotional,” Walsh said. “I have a pretty different story.”

Walsh said the two Rottweilers that killed 18 goats on a Westport farm belonged to her. That attack led investigators to the property last month. Walsh said her estranged husband sold the Rottweilers to someone about six months ago and she’d been looking for them ever since.

“The vet that did euthanize them after 10 days of quarantine said that they were badly starved,” Walsh said.

NBC 10 News first showed viewers the disturbing conditions that the animals were living in one month ago — many with no food or water. The animals were found on a tenant farm in Westport off of American Legion Highway.

Detective Jeff Majewski told NBC 10 the remains of about 70 animals were found there, and more than 20 animals have had to be euthanized. Adding to the heartache, the tenant farm was investigated in 2010 for animal cruelty.

“The biggest thing for me is this is not the first time it’s happened,” Jodi Greenleaf, who organized the vigil, said. “How on earth does our state allow this to happen?”

So far, no one has faced criminal charges. Majewski told NBC 10 that he’s hoping charges will be filed in the next few weeks. He said police have one shot to get it right and are investigating 21 tenant farmers.

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