Arraignments in Westport animal cruelty case start Tuesday

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) – Tenants of a squalid Westport farm are scheduled to be arraigned this week, starting Tuesday.

According to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, 24 people of the 26 who were indicted on animal cruelty charges will be arraigned at Superior Court in Fall River.

IN-DEPTH: Westport Farm Abuse »

Richard Medeiros, who owns the property, will be arraigned Wednesday on 21 counts of animal cruelty.

Last July, investigators found hundreds of animals living in horrific conditions – and many more already dead – on the sprawling property off American Leigon Highway. A neighbor had complained to authorities that two dogs had gotten loose from the property and eaten the neighbor’s goats, prompting the invetstigation.

According to police, Medeiros was leasing the property to tenants and told them he did not feel responsible for the conditions there.

Some of the animals were successfully rehabilitated and were subsequently adopted.