Horses Seized From Connecticut Breeders

More than 30 horses are receiving rehabilitative care after they were seized from a breeding operation by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CDA).

Steve Jensen, CDA spokesman, said that in September 2015, an East Hampton, Connecticut. animal control officer responded to a complaint from an owner who had leased four horses to Thomas and Melanie Olajos, who bred Frisian, Andalusian, and Gypsy Vanner horses at Fairy Trail Equine Facility. According to the complainant, the horses were all emaciated when she retrieved them, Jensen said. An attending veterinarian later diagnosed those horses with malnutrition and parasite infestation, he said.

Later that month, CDA animal control officers visited the farm and found no hay or grain available to the horses. Their initial assessment found that nearly half of the horses on the property were underweight displaying signs of malnutrition including muscle wasting, protruding hip bones, and visible ribs and spines. At that time Thomas Olajos was instructed to provide the animals with hay and clean water and obtain veterinary and farrier treatment for the horses.

Jensen said a veterinarian hired by Olajos examined the horses and found that several had malnutrition-related anemia. The veterinarian recommended that the horses be given 200 bales of hay per week and laid out a feeding and treatment plan for the animals, Jensen said.

During subsequent visits to the farm, CDA inspectors found that some horses had gained weight while others had not. Further, during a visit in December 2015, the horses did not have access to food or water, and Olajos admitted that he had not followed the instructions of the veterinarian or the department's inspectors, Jensen said.

As such, on Feb. 2, acting on a warrant, CDA seized 32 horses from the property, along with more than 80 chickens, two dogs, and several rabbits, Jensen said

Neither Thomas nor Melanie Olajos were available for comment.

Jensen declined to comment further on the ongoing investigation.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More