While veterinarians worked Monday to save the animals found malnourished and near starvation at an Aquebogue farm, investigators sought to learn why the horses, cattle, pigs, goats and sheep were left in that condition.
And as news of the weekend raid at Arrowhead Pond Farms by the Suffolk SPCA spread across the East End Monday, the agency found itself with yet another problem to deal with - people seeking to help.
The SPCA, whose agents raided the farm on Sunday, has issued an appeal for food for the wide range of livestock, but is finding that people are simply driving up with bags of feed, said Chief of Department Roy Gross.
"We cleaned up a lot of debris, but people could be hurt. And, the investigation is ongoing. . . . this is a crime scene," Gross said. "A number of people are stepping up to the plate, saying they could adopt. And, they are bringing food. But we're asking them to call the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals office so we can coordinate. Don't just drop it on the property."
The SPCA can be reached at 631-382-7722.
Gross said there were about 100 animals on the property, many wandering together behind fences in different areas.
The search warrant, approved by Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith, allows the SPCA to seize the animals in place.
Gross said that his agents got the warrant after receiving a tip about the condition of the animals. When they executed the warrant Sunday afternoon, he said, they found many of the animals suffering from starvation. "Some of them were just skin and bones, very malnourished," he said. "From what I heard, some of the gates were left open, and the animals were left to fend for themselves."
The SPCA has not identified the owner of the animals, and Gross declined to say if they belonged to the owner of the farm.