Thursday, May 11, 2017

New York: Linda Mellin charged with animal cruelty after dozens of neglected animals found on her property

NEW YORK -- The Albany County Sheriff's Office is looking into an animal cruelty case on Sickle Hill Road in the town of Berne.

Deputies responded immediately after NewsChannel 13 passed along a viewer tip about the property.


The woman who lives there, Linda Mellin, was charged with multiple counts of misdemeanor failure to provide sustenance.

Deputies were executing a search warrant Wednesday afternoon on the property. They say they found three horses, five sheep, 16 goats, six chickens, seven pigs and a rabbit. Many of the animals were living together in the same grass-less fenced in area.

Deputies say here was no feed or acceptable water on the property. When deputies were there, two loads of hay arrived.


Deputies say the animals were hungry, thirsty, without bedding and some infected with fleas and ticks.

"The horses were severely underweight, haven't been taken care of, their teeth haven't been taking care of. Their hooves are highly sensitive from living in the muck," said senior investigator JT Campbell.


Deputies say it got worse as they went.

Once in the garage, they found three dogs-- a mastiff, a pit bull, and a German Shepard. Mellin told deputies that one of the dogs was so aggressive he would attack anyone other than her. Deputies asked her to bring the dogs into the humane shelter van to avoid that.


In another part of the shed, there are a number of baby goats.

A veterinarian had to be called in to examine the animals.

We spoke with Mellin before she was led off in handcuffs. She told us it was a big misunderstanding.

"I'll get them back because I did absolutely nothing wrong. Nothing is neglected, nothing is abused," said Mellin. "None of it is true. They all have food. They all have food. They all have water. They all have appropriate homes."



The sheriff's office brought in the drone team to get aerial shots of the property.

Deputies need people to come and take these animals back to their homes or farms. They're also looking for donations of feed. You can call deputies at (518) 765-2351 if you're interested.

(WNYT - May 11, 2017)