"Horses, sheep, goats, rabbits, dogs and other animals were emaciated and sick with infections and parasites, police said. The living quarters were covered in feces and water containers were filthy. There was inadequate food and water."
". . . they found dozens of animals living in what one person at the scene described as a “hell hole.”
"Some smaller animals were in such bad condition they had to be euthanized."
"Authorities also found dead animals and animal body parts improperly discarded behind the barn."
"Police arrested Sams and charged him with 58 counts of animal cruelty. He is being held without bond."
Excerpts from InsideNova.com.
Response: Award-Winning Animals
These are segments of an article written anonymously and posted by the local news - InsideNova.com. There was an accompanying post on their FaceBook page that showed a picture taken from our FaceBook page (without permission)
. . .in the winter time.
Why not use their own pictures? For the same reason there were no quotes from us either - that reporter never took the time to come down and investigate for him/herself, while larger media outlets including WTOP (called us) and Fox News (sent a reporter who stayed over an hour) made the effort.
Neither did they quote any official source such as the police or animal control. "One person" was cited - as anonymous as the reporter. So for all we know, it could have been Zsa Zsa Gabor that would describe a farm such as ours as a "Hell Hole."
As of this writing, it appears that InsideNova has removed the article about us on their FaceBook page along with understandably angry posts resulting from this inflammatory, unsupported article. We'd be angry too if we'd read such accusations about animals being treated that way (accusations written apparently on hearsay alone).
So - do you have to judge between on our word vs theirs?
While the anonymous reporter wasn't able to provide pictures of the day we were raided - we can. Here's a slideshow of the animals that were taken (you can see Animal Control in some of them). They're not professional, but we invite you to judge for yourself - do these animals look "emaciated."
NOTE: We've included a few examples of real emaciated animals (NOT ours!) to show the contrast between ours and the abused animals found in a rescue shelter.
Many of these animals had passed a state line inspection just 4 days before the raid and we have the documents to verify.
We recently had a judge ;look over these pictures and documentation, who ordered Animal Control to return "CC" - the owner, Larry Sam's German Shepherd - the only animal Larry actually owned.
This same judge also declared the other animals to be in fit condition. We're not out of the woods, as the main trial will be held in early June, but it's been an encouraging development.
Sadly, our other animals are lost to us.
Animal Control was charging $45 per animal per day (even for rabbits that sold for $15 each) until we relinquished our animals to them. Nor were we notified until many days after, that we were being fined $2,655 per day. So, we were forced to sign away over $10,000 in animals as well as the fines up to that point. We do not know, but suspect that Animal Control then sold these animals to the community.
And as if charging $45 per day to care for just one rabbit wasn't enough, we recently learned that on top of the fines Animal Control was charging us, they had also set up an fund-raiser specifically for our animals. We don't know how much they raised through this site, but Animal Control's raid on our farm has clearly been extremely profitable for them.
They've made a healthy profit off of us, while being hailed by many as rescuers. Not a bad deal for them!
Yet, these animals were seized illegally. Animal Control was supposed to present us with doccumentation that required our signature to release our animals into their custody. They have no such signed authorization on file. We were not presented with this documentation.
Here is a picture posted by Animal Control just a week or so after they'd taken this horse and these goats. If they were emaciated, they have made a miraculous recovery!
Another point of timing for your consideration:
Cross States Stables does not raise animals. We broker them. The only animal owned by Larry Sams, was and is - CC the dog.
The most an animal is with us is about 2 weeks. So for all of these animals to be in such terrible condition, every farmer who brought their animals here for us to sell, would have had to be abusing them long before they came to us. Even if you were to look past the good name of each of these farmers, what is the probability that every single one would bring them to us in poor health.
And if that were even possible, why would anyone buy them?
As for the "dead animals and animal body parts improperly discarded behind the barn" - yes we do sell some of our animals for meat. We also make our facility available to various religious groups who do their own butchering. Even though this is not a pleasant part of farming - it is part of farming and providing food to the community.
Animal Control's own pictures show the remains in a plastic bag.
It's true Larry held overnight in jail and released the next day on bond.
The irony in this is that before moving to this area, Larry had a prison ministry where inmates were given a chance to raise crops and animals to help rehabilitate them and give them a chance earn enough to start a new life once they were released.
Charge: Animal Cruelty
Some who have passed by Cross States Stables may have actually seen abused animals.
Response: Animal Rescue
Have you ever been to a farm where inspirational quotes, counsel to be kind the animals and pictures everywhere of people and animals making fun memories together? The pictures below are only a sampling of many more such messages.
They have been up for 3 1/2 years and witnessed by hundreds if not thousands of visitors.
Add quote from Animal Rescue owner
Talk about Lee's wife who is an animal rescuer.
Award winning animals.
Show pictures of horse that came in skin and bones and is now worth $150,000.
Show quotes and pictures on barn walls.
Video of Larry riding a horse w/o using bridle
Plan to put up sign in the future explaining that these are rescue animals.
Charge: Past Convictions
" it wasn’t the first time the business owner, 58-year-old Larry Sams, had faced legal trouble over his treatment of livestock."
Response: Do You Know What For?
The first time was for a rabbit that had been brought in by another farmer for Larry to sell. It had not been on the grounds more than 20 minutes when Animal Control cited Larry for neglect because they did not find a water bottle in the cage.
The second charge was for a goat that died while in Larry's care. The goat showed no outward signs up to that point that there was anything wrong, but was cited for not having the goat under a veterinarian's care . . .even though the goat was owned by a vet. Larry wanted to fight this charge,but was advised to accept the plea bargain rather than risk the threats of the prosecution.
This information is