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Suffolk SPCA: Neglected animals found on Aquebogue farm

Cows and chicken are seen as SPCA officers

Cows and chicken are seen as SPCA officers execute a search warrant investigating dead animals in Riverhead, Sunday. (March 21, 2010) Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Responding to complaints about malnourished animals on an Aquebogue farm, Suffolk SPCA officials searched the site Sunday and found about 100 farm animals, many appearing to be emaciated and others dead.

The property owner, who was not at the farm, gave no explanation for the condition of the animals, officials said.

SPCA officials used a search warrant to enter the Sound Avenue property at 11:30 a.m. and spent the day combing through a haphazard menagerie of cows, pigs, horses, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and other animals, said SPCA Chief of Detectives Gerald Lauber.

From the adjacent property, owned by the North Fork Preserve, one could see cattle with their ribs showing through their skin, pigs crawling through trash and a half-dozen dead goats.

The property is listed as belonging to Carlo Lauro, who could not be reached Sunday. Lauber said police spoke with the property owner, who told them he was out of the area.

So far, no charges have been filed. Cruelty to farm animals is a misdemeanor in New York, Lauber said.

Don Palahnuk, whose property adjoins Lauro's, said he built a fence to stop Lauro's animals from roaming onto his property.

"I had a 1,700-pound cow looking in my window," he said. "He's a nice person over there. It's just that when you're dealing with animals you have to know what you're doing."

Lauber said the SPCA desperately needs hay, oats and other food for the recovered animals. Those wishing to donate food or money, he said, should contact the SPCA at 631-382-7722.

SPCA executive director Roy Gross said the animals are being cared for on site and evaluated for possible adoption.

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