At 6am on Tuesday, armed with a search warrant, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department raided the Thyme and Sage Ranch animal sanctuary in Cazenovia, which is about 65 miles north of Madison, and confiscated the animals, some of which has open sores. The Thyme and Sage Ranch animal sanctuary is the acting pound for Richland County, according to it’s website. The owner and founder, Jennifer Petkus, was not available for comment. The website’s listings of adoptable dogs has recently been removed from the Petfinder.com website.
With help from various animal welfare organizations, including American Humane’s Animal Protection Division and the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the animals are being transferred to the Dane County Humane Society which is providing accommodation in emergency tents behind its facility. PetSmart Charities® is providing much-needed resources and supplies.
Richland County District Attorney requested the assistance of the ASPCA’s forensics and animal response teams, as well as its Mobile CSI Unit. The ASPCA is collecting evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case, as well as lending the services of its special forensic cruelty investigation team. "Animal cruelty is unacceptable, and we are doing everything we can to lend our support to this critical investigation," said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. "The ASPCA’s Mobile Animal CSI unit is an important component in the effort against animal cruelty, as it offers the ability to work on-site with the necessary tools, allowing evidence to be processed more accurately and efficiently."
An anonymous source who has recently adopted a puppy from the Thyme and Sage Ranch recently shared her experience of the sanctuary. "This woman should be ashamed of herself. She runs What she calls a ‘Rescue’ in Richland County. She is a puppy mill and a rotten crook. As an avid dog lover looking for a new dog, found her on the internet and drove to her ‘rescue’. Upon arriving her place was disgusting. Dogs running everywhere, some of them visibly sick," she told an online complaints website.
The Dane County Humane Society has appealed for donations of money (see below) and full-sized bath towels, which can be dropped off at the shelter at 5132 Voges Road, Madison, Wisconsin.