A City of Newburgh man has been charged in connection with what’s believed to be the biggest animal rescue in Orange County history. With the aid of several rescue groups, the Hudson Valley SPCA seized over 100 starving, dehydrated, and sick animals from a farm off of Route 416 in Hamptonburgh.

According to the Times Herald Record, 47- year-old Emiliano Zapata, of Newburgh, has been charged with neglect and unlawful disposal of animals. Zapata is due in Hamptonburgh court on November 17th.

The Hudson Valley SPCA is still finishing up inventory of the seized animals, which included sheep, chickens, pigs, goats, and cattle.  The Hudson Valley News Network reports, the animals were going to be slaughtered for food. A thrown-together slaughterhouse equipped with chainsaws was located next to the barns. The farm was apparently used by people who run a restaurant serving farm fresh meat.

Four rescue groups — Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, Skylands Animal Sanctuary in Wantage, N.J, Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Catskill,  and Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen — combined to remove and relocate the animals. Animals in need of urgent care were taken to Cornell University’s animal hospital.

An investigation into the farm began after the Hudson Valley SPCA received a call of a dead sheep.

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