May 19, 2021


affection for others

Redding woman charged with 65 counts of cruelty to animals, house condemned

A Redding woman has been charged with 65 counts of cruelty to animals – one for each goat that was seized from her property last month.

Nancy Burton, 71, turned herself into police April 16 and was released on a $50,000 non-surety bond. She is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court Thursday for arraignment.

The arrest comes a month after local police and state animal control officers executed a search and seizure warrant for her Cross Highway home on March 10, taking 65 of her goats into custody and finding the carcasses of about 40 to 50 deceased goats, according to the warrant.

Burton could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The state’s investigation revealed there were “many animal health and property management” concerns, according to the arrest warrant. Officials documented concerns over water supply, shelters that were collapsed or in poor condition, manure control and some goats with long hooves.

“Some of the goats were severely malnourished, most of them had severely overgrown and/or damaged, injured hooves with evidence of longstanding abnormal hoof wall growth and malformation,” Dr. Adam Ward, of Tufts Veterinary Field Services, said in a letter to a state animal control official, which was quoted in the arrest warrant. Ward and another doctor vaccinated the goats for rabies, drew blood samples for testing and trimmed their hooves.

“In my professional opinion, all of the goats we worked with were afflicted by one or more ailments secondary to improper or neglectful management during their lives,” Ward said.

While seizing the goats, officials also discovered conditions on the property that were “deplorable” and made Burton’s home “uninhabitable,” including a lack of running water or a working furnace, the warrant stated. This led the town’s fire marshal to condemn the home, the warrant continued. A “for sale” sign has since been placed outside the home.

“Every room in the home was cluttered with trash and/or boxes and furniture arranged in a way so there were just paths to walk from one room to the other. The roof had completely caved in on one of the rooms and there were goat and rat feces throughout the home,” the warrant read.