Criminal investigation underway after 800 animals seized in Wayne County

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FAIRPORT, NY (WROC) – A criminal investigation is underway as the Humane Society of Lollypop Farm seized nearly 800 animals from a property in Wayne County.

Lollypop Farm veterinarians have dedicated two entire rooms to house all of the primarily rodent-type animals seized from the World of Wildlife Educational Encounters farm in Walworth. From rabbits to guinea pigs, mice, rats, and more.

“People are walking by and making sure everything is cleaned up with food and water,” said Lollypop Farm spokesperson Ashley Zeh. “Check to make sure no disease appears. Make sure we’ve accounted for all the babies that pop up.

In many cases, investigators have found hundreds of these rodents crammed into a single glass cage stacked on top of each other, causing many to become dehydrated.

“Multitudes of them in what would be considered 10-gallon aquariums,” Zeh said. “But also, the ammonia levels they were kept in and the cages themselves.”

Sally Reaves was the first owner of these animals with World of Wildlife Educational Encounters.

In a statement sent to News 8, Reaves said: “We are devastated by the recent seizure of some of our animals who have acted as animal ambassadors in our wildlife programs over the years. Animals that were seized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were removed due to an error in the permit documents, not their conditions life or their health. The “800” animals taken to Lollypop Farm were mainly rodents with their babies. Rats and mice can have between 10 and 15 babies at a time and these babies have been included in this number (for example, 50 mice that have 10 babies each suddenly turn into 500 animals if you count them individually), which was done. Unfortunately, many reports are more sensationalized than factual. We are currently working with the right people to get everything straightened out and our animals returned to us safely. We would like to thank everyone who has reached out and provided us with positive affirmations and support during this difficult time. Your faith and trust in us is greatly appreciated.

Each seized animal must remain on a Lollypop farm until the investigation is complete. In the meantime, donations from the community have been a big help so they can live comfortably in new cages, with food and supplies.

“Timothy Hay, food palettes, bedding, and even Wegmans gift cards are really helpful,” Zeh said. “Because a lot of these animals need green vegetables on a daily basis, so being able to buy lettuce, fruit and vegetables is very important.”

It is not known how long this investigation will continue.

Reeves went on to say they would work hard to get all of their animals back safely.

If the investigation results in charges against World of Wildlife Educational Encounters, all animals will be offered for adoption once they are healthy enough to leave.

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