Goats seized as farm operator faces animal cruelty charges

CORNWALL, Conn. (WTNH) — The owners of a Cornwall goat dairy have been arrested on multiple animal cruelty charges.

According to the state Department of Agriculture, 40-year-old Tara Bryson and 43-year-old Michael Hearl, both of West Suffield, each face 63 counts of cruelty to animals. Bryson and Hearl are accused of failing to properly feed, water, and provide access to appropriate shelter for the herd, leaving the goats unable to maintain a healthy body weight. They say the conditions also compromised the animals’ ability to handle cold weather, resist parasites and disease, and to deal with other stressful conditions such as pregnancy.

The state seized dozens of the couple’s goats from their Butterfield Farm cheese-making operation on Hautboy Hill Road in January.

Bryson was arrested Thursday and posted $60,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court March 10.

Hearl turned himself in Friday and was scheduled to be arraigned the same day.

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