Inspectors in Rochester found more than 20 animals living on a farm Tuesday in pens filled with mud, garbage, and feces, a discovery that led to criminal charges against the owner of the property, police said.
Daniel Pacheco, who owns the animals, was charged with 21 counts of animal cruelty at his arraignment at Wareham District Court on Wednesday. He was released on his own personal recognizance and is scheduled to reappear in court on May 20.
The animals, which included dogs, pigs, cows, goats, and rabbits, were malnourished and lacked adequate shelter, according to a statement from Rochester police.
Police uncovered the alleged cruelty because of a state-required inspection by Rochester animal control at the Walnut Plain Road farm Tuesday afternoon.
The statement from police painted a particularly grim picture of the conditions facing the pigs on the farm.
“The pigs were being fed [commingled] garbage which did not appear to have been cooked first as required by state law,” officials said.
One baby cow was found dead at the scene, and a veterinarian found that another calf was in grave condition.
“The vet determined that the animals were all suffering from neglect and were in various degrees of suffering,” the statement said.
Officers also observed “numerous violations of health and building codes” at the farm, police said.
Pacheco arrived at the farm during the investigation. He was arrested and surrendered all of his animals. Each count of animal cruelty carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.