The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Cops, courts and fires

September 14, 2013

Officials recall 'disgusting' conditions at Summitville farm

(Continued)

SUMMITVILLE, Ind. —

The operation proved costly for the county. Between veterinary tests, equipment, worker overtime, security and other costs, the total cost of the clean-up was estimated at over $30,000 by County Administrator Dan Dykes, though he predicted that number would go up. Ultimately, crews dug a gigantic crater near the farm and buried the corpses.

"We’ve had to go into hoarding situations before, but just the scope of all the animals, so many barns and dead bodies. It was horrific," Stringer said. "The magnitude of it was overwhelming."

What happened to the surviving animals?

But even after the disposal, the remaining animals needed to be nursed back to health and find proper homes. The daunting task fell to Stringer and her organization. But after experiencing something so traumatic, Stringer said her faith in humanity was restored by the outpouring of support they received from the community. APL's email inbox and Facebook page were flooded with offers of money, supplies and support.

"When this first hit, there was no way financially we could do what needed to be done. We got such a huge response and were able to do this because of the public. We could do what was needed," Stringer said.

One person who jumped at the opportunity to help was Jennifer Johnson of Anderson. She helped transport several horses away from the property in the days after the farm was discovered. She adopted one of the miniature horses for herself and named it Trinity. Johnson said when she met the horses, they looked completely neglected, but more than that, they looked lifeless.

Trinity didn't look overly skinny, but that was most because she was very hairy and her winter coat hadn't been groomed. When Johnson got closer to the horse, she could see its ribs. There was no life in Trinity's eyes.

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