Two animals rescued from a filthy Madison County barn are on their way to finding a permanent home.
This past April, 165 farm animals were rescued from the barn on 1700 North between 350 and 400 West. Authorities also found close to 100 dead animals.
The owners of the property, Daniel Ault and Carrie Ault, were both charged with various counts of improper disposal of a dead animal, cruelty to an animal, and two counts of neglect of a dependent. The Ault’s are scheduled to appear in court Oct. 11 at 9 a.m. According to a Madison County clerk, the Ault’s have not entered a plea.
When investigators found the dead animals and rescued the other animals, the Animal Protection League helped.
“The plea went out to the community, basically to the state and we had people offer to take them (and) foster them. It was really overwhelming the good will that was shown that day in how to save these animals,” said Maleah Stringer, Director of the Animal Protection League.
Stringer said people donated thousands of dollars to help these animals. It was not until about a month or two after the animals were rescued that they eligible to be adopted. While there were only a few animals that were rescued and died, most of them survived and were adopted. There are only two animals that have not been adopted, but Stringer said, they are in the process of being adopted.
The two animals that almost have permanent homes are Paintmare and Muffin. Paintmare is a pony. Muffin is a miniature horse. The animals have been staying with Molly Gunason at her home in Madison County. Gunason took in a total of 16 animals that were rescued from the barn. She had seven mini horses, two ponies, five sheep and a lama. She took care of them with the help of other people. She fed them and made sure they were healthy again, in order for them to be ready for adoption.
“There (are) no words for it – to see the transformation from them not trusting (you and) not wanting to (be) with humans at all to (them) coming around and trusting and (being) affectionate,” Gunason said.
Gunason said she did not mind taking care of the animals.
“They needed it. Somebody needed to step up for them. They were at our mercy. They just needed to know (that) not everybody is going to treat them that way,” Gunason said.
Gunason said it was hard to witness the conditions the animals were in when they arrived at her home. She said they were in bad shape.
“It was hard to see the way they came in. They were so forgotten, just dirty and matted and nasty and hungry and untrusting. It was hard,” Gunason said.
After spending so much time with the animals, Gunason wants to adopt Muffin. She filed the appropriate paperwork to adopt and now she is keeping her fingers crossed.
“It’s the animals that keep you going,” Gunason said.