by Isabel Long
Owner and manager of Peaceable Farms, Anne Goland, has been charged with 27 accounts of animal abuse.
On Monday, October 19th, a search warrant was granted to search Peaceable Farms, a farm located in Orange County that claims to be an animal rescue center. After receiving more than a few complaints about the smell and state of the farm, county sheriff Amos decided to investigate the farms conditions.
Found at the so called animal rescue were over 100 abused and mistreated horses among a large amount of cats and dogs. Many dead horses were found and five horses were in such poor condition they were euthanized on the scene. Four more have been euthanized since then. This is just in addition to the dead donkeys, cats, dogs and chickens located on the farms properties.
The Daily Progress reported on October 22, “Six different rescue organizations (had) removed many of the horses by Tuesday night and other groups had volunteered to help.”
71 horses, 28 cats and 7 dogs were immediately taken from the farm leaving Goland with 18 horses, a bull and several cats and dogs.
“The owners of the farm where I work agreed to take in two horses when the Orange County sheriff’s office… was looking for people to foster horses,” said Lili Bennett, who works at a farm who adopted two of the taken horses. “Horses needed to be moved off the property as quickly as possible, as many of them were in terrible shape and needed immediate attention.”
Jenn Tirrell, Head of Operations at Glenmore Equestrian Center (GEC), said, “Whatever medical care they need should be given… it would be great if people would adopt them. As of right now, probably, the rescues where they are is the best place for them.”
Deceased animals found were omitted to forensics testing in order to find out the reason for death.
Tirrell said, “I don’t think she has proven herself worthy of being responsible and taking care of animals.” Tirrell and the GEC have been collecting and bringing donations to the farm for a few weeks now.
Andrew Canterbury, a tenth grade student with limited knowledge about the subject said, “She should not be allowed to keep any more animals… Rehome them to responsible owners.”
Why were some of the animals immediately taken from the farm, while other remained under the abusive care of Anne Goland?
Virginia’s State Code, which addresses the protection of animals that have been abandoned, abused, or are in a state that has a direct threat to its life, safety or health, states that only a certain number of the animals met the criteria for legal seizure, according to the sheriff’s office. Some animals did not meet the state’s criteria for legal action. Because of Virginia’s animals abuse laws, animals have been placed under the supervision of unfit caregivers.
This case magnifies the issues that we are supposed to support, which allow animals to be abused and striped of their rights. After a case like this citizens may not support such laws.
“I think the community has been shocked by this situation. No one thought this could happen here,” said Bennett.
Peaceable farms had a non profit status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Their mission statement was “buy at auction horses that otherwise would be bought by slaughterhouses in Canada and/or Mexico where they are inhumanely processed and then shipped out for both human and animal consumption.”
**The farm’s income over the past years has been deteriorating quickly. In 2011, the farm’s income and donations together totaled to $696,582. However, the farms expenses were estimated at $622,415, leaving the farm with a balance of $74,167. In 2012, the income was just more than $1 million, but the total expenses were $45,321 over that.
2013 was the most recent year that the farm filed an IRS 990 form. Peaceable farms had an income of $1.127 million but had $1.193 million in expenses.
Peaceable Farms was in very deep debt.
The question remains what fate the remaining animals at Goland’s farm will face. Since the farm was first investigated as many as 15 horses have died, or have been put down. Bennett said, “I think it’s a terrible idea to let her keep some of the animals. I know there is only so much that can be done within the law, but clearly the law needs to change.”
Along with the laws on the rights of the animals, the laws on the rights of the people who commit these crimes is also in question. “I would keep her behind bars. I just saw on the news that she is being released on bond, and there is no reason to think that she won’t continue her behavior,” Bennett said.
According to Bennett, a number of vets had been complaining about the deteriorating condition of the farm and the animals on it to the authorities as long ago as February. However, it had to reach a certain level before law enforcement could interfere.
Anne Goland was arrested on October 26th. Goland was released on a bail of $75,000. However, she is not permitted to return to the farm without a deputy present and cannot make any online purchases over $100.
Goland faces 27 accounts of animal cruelty. Her legally mandated civil seizure hearing facing the 110+ animals taken from her farm was scheduled for November 18, 2015.
People can support this issue by donating any supplies or money to a donation center, such as the Glenmore Equestrian Center. People can also go to the link (at the bottom of the article) to sign a petition to have Anne Goland’s animal ownership rights taken away.
Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue adopted 29 of the horses taken from Peaceable Farms, four of which have died since, says Maya Prolux, the executive director.
“There are a large number of people in the community who are concerned with this issue and are working hard to make sure things are changed.”
“I just want to get the horses the best care, and not only the horses, there’s also donkeys, dogs, and cats.” Said Jenn Tirrell, “All the animals should get the best care they can get so they can try to have a quality life.”