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Farm owner denies cruelty charges; approximately 1,400 animals found

FALL RIVER, Mass. – The owner of a Massachusetts farm where authorities say they found approximately 1,400 animals in overcrowded, overheated and dangerous living conditions has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.

Richard Medeiros entered the plea Wednesday in Bristol Superior Court. The 83-year-old owner of Westport Tenant Farm, and more than 20 tenants face multiple animal cruelty charges in the case.

The investigation began in July 2016, when the police was called about the allegations of animal cruelty in the 70-acre farm in Westport.

The authorities say that hundreds of animals were kept in “appalling and dangerous conditions, with insufficient food, water or shelter. They say that many of the animals who suffer from serious diseases and had to be euthanized.

The animals included dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens and rabbits.

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