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Sick Animals Rescued From Lancaster Ranch

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Earlier this week members of The Gentle Barn's Rescue Staff discovered hundreds of animals from a ranch in Lancaster, reports CBS2. They posted the story of the discovery, and a plea for help on Craigslist: "On Monday, January 14, 2008 Gentle Barn Rescue Staff arrived on scene at a property in Lancaster, CA that, from a far, just looked like some fences and trees. As we got closer, it became a city of cages made out of chain link with approximately 400 animals in the worst case scenario." The man who lived on the property and had originally brought all the animals, including dogs and other farm animals, to the ranch, couldn't be located.

The animals were removed yesterday and several were taken to Animal Acres, which is a "farmed animal sanctuary" located in Acton. Sadly, because of their sickness, some of the animals had to be put to sleep. Furthermore, when the staff of the Gentle Barn worked on getting animals out of the stalls, they discovered that some of them were already dead. CBS2 quotes rescuer Jay Weiner in their report: "The chickens had come over and flown into some of the stalls and they were half eaten in there, and the dog cages, the dogs had no food and no water and very poor shelter. It was very very cold -- it's been cold, it's been below 30 degrees every night -- so the waters come in and there's two inches of ice."

It is unclear as to why the ranch resident had neglected the animals, including not providing them with clean water or food. Another Gentle Barn rescuer told a local newspaper that they had discovered gasoline present in the only water that was available for the dogs. Many of the animals, which include "30 cats, 40 chickens and turkeys, 100 goats and sheep, a llama, an emu, a pregnant horse, three potbellied pigs and a 600-pound farm pig" are pregnant, and most were ill. "A majority of the animals have mange, upper respiratory problems, pink eye, vomiting, diarrhea and all are exhausted. Five litters of puppies have been removed from the property with horrible medical issues." Currently the surviving animals are in quarantine until they can all be examined by vets. Everyone involved in this massive rescue effort said that "they hope that residents will adopt some of the animals."

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If you can help in any way, The Gentle Barn is asking for assistance with volunteers to help with feeding and cleaning, adopting the animals, or funding to help provided them with necessities and medical aid.

Photo of an unrelated dog by fazen via Flickr