Allegations of animal neglect at Oliveira Farm lead to cruelty charges

TEWKSBURY — An investigation into the mistreatment of animals at Oliveira Farm last 12 months resulted in cruelty expenses for the son of the farm’s proprietor and the woman who unsuccessfully fought a state-issued slaughter buy for her 3 pet goats.

David Oliveira, 46, of Tewksbury, and Vilmaria Maldonado, 44, of Lowell, were arraigned in Lowell District Court in April pursuing a 4-thirty day period investigation that ended with allegations that they unsuccessful to effectively treatment for six animals on the farm, court docket documents point out.

Among the the six animals stated by the Animal Rescue League of Boston in court docket files are Maldonado’s now-deceased goats, which she saved as pets and named George Washington, Republican and Democrat in spite of their classification as “slaughter-only” livestock. Even with Maldonado’s attempts to halt it from occurring, the three goats have been seized from the farm on Aug. 19 and humanely euthanized, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Means introduced shortly right after the action was taken.

Primary up to their loss of life, court files state the three goats endured well being problems and poor living situations during their time on the farm.

Also accessible in court docket files is a letter from the Tewksbury Overall health Section to farm operator Dinis Oliveira stating the farm’s piggery and animal permits had been suspended for an “indefinite interval of time.” The letter, dated Sept. 13, states the motion was taken “because of multiple severe stories of neglect” at the farm, located at 199 Marston St.

Tewksbury City Supervisor Richard Montuori confirmed in an e mail on Thursday that the slaughterhouse operation at Oliveira Farm has been shut down. He added that if the proprietor of the farm needed to reactivate the slaughterhouse procedure they would be necessary to seek out and be granted permits from both the condition and the Tewksbury Board of Wellbeing.

The Animal Rescue League’s investigation at the farm began last June and finished in Oct. Through the system of the investigation, court docket files point out inspectors from state Division of Agricultural Methods and the U.S. Section of Agriculture, as effectively as Tewksbury animal handle officers, also frequented the farm several times.

Courtroom files state the costs stem from the cure of two ponies on the residence, as well as four goats, which aside from George Washington, Republican and Democrat, bundled yet another infant goat named President Nixon.

It is alleged in courtroom documents that all the animals ended up underweight throughout visits by the Animal Rescue League, whilst the ponies had overgrown hooves that wanted to be trimmed. For the duration of another position in the investigation, 1 pony was claimed as getting hives and open up sores on its facial area and overall body.

Through a go to on July 13, court docket files condition the Animal Rescue League located a few toddler goats — recognized as George Washington, Republican and Democrat — that “appeared to be in very poor condition” and experienced “mucus discharge and ended up coughing.” Court docket paperwork also state for the duration of the July 13 pay a visit to that hay at the farm was wet and moldy in parts, when a bucket of moldy bread was offered for the animals to take in.

For the duration of an additional stop by by investigators to the farm on Aug. 9, court files state a fourth child goat was observed caged with no food or water, while the animal’s bedding was saturated with urine and feces. The exact same child goat — which courtroom paperwork determined as President Nixon — was identified by investigators lifeless and covered in feces at the farm a lot less than 10 days later on.

A doc readily available in court documents detailing the necropsy of the deceased goat carried out at the University of New Hampshire exhibits the animal’s dying could be attributed to emaciation, enteritis, parasitic infection, diarrhea and dehydration.

Maldonado and Emmanuel Flaris, an advocate for David Oliveira, have both of those stated the expenses are unfounded, although pointing the finger at the other pertaining to the findings of the investigation.

Maldonado claimed on Wednesday that the two ponies and President Nixon are not her pets, and for that reason not her responsibility. She extra George Washington, Republican and Democrat, which were being provided to her by David Oliveira, may well have been unwell in the course of the program of the investigation, but she insists she was having care of the animals and their well being was increasing.

“I taken care of people goats like they have been my toddlers,” Maldonado said. “I was emotionally connected to them.”

Maldonado stated she received the goats in February 2021, and moved them to the farm a couple months later on. She reported that in advance of that time, she experienced no understanding of how to acquire treatment of farm animals and believed people today on the farm, like David Oliveira, would appropriately care for the goats when on the property.

“I placed that duty to feed them and consider care of them on the farm,” Maldonado said.

Flaris mentioned David Oliveira was not accountable for any of the 4 goats. He claimed they ended up all owned and cared for by Maldonado, together with President Nixon. Flaris included David Oliveira does not provide as the manager of the farm, and was not granted plenty of funding or assist from farm operators to give correct care for the livestock on the farm, which includes the two ponies.

In accordance to Flaris, David Oliveira grew up on his father’s farm and has under no circumstances harmed any animals all over that time.

“This is destroying him,” Flaris claimed about the prices. “It’s tearing him aside.”

Maldonado’s attorney, Jody Shanahan, said on Wednesday that it is unclear at this place in the case who has control more than the farm and the farm’s livestock.

“Once it arrives out in court and in demo who experienced dominion around the farm and who experienced dominion in excess of the livestock at the farm, matters will turn out to be a great deal additional apparent,” Shanahan explained.

“Everything is very new,” she extra about the situation. “I’m confident as we move alongside, we’ll be able to foresee how the circumstance is likely to turn out. But it is critical to notice that (Maldonado) had good intentions and she did treatment for these animals. It was not a situation of intentional cruelty.”

A Sept. 14 letter from the Tewksbury Wellness Section to the Massachusetts Office of Food items Security accessible in courtroom paperwork states the slaughterhouse permit at the farm was issued to Dinis Oliveira. Nonetheless, Dinis Oliveira is not able to effectively care for the property owing to professional medical reasons, in accordance to the letter from the Tewksbury Well being Department.

David Oliveira was arraigned on the felony animal cruelty costs by Choose Ellen Caulo on April 12, whilst Maldonado was arraigned by Choose Stacey Fortes on April 14. Both ended up launched on their possess recognizance and have been instructed to not care for or have handle of any animals.

David Oliveira is scheduled to return to court docket on June 28, although Maldonado is established to return to courtroom on June 10.

David Oliveira’s lawyer, Natalie Welch, was unavailable for comment.

Observe Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis.