EAST HAMPTON--In a last minute deal, an East Hampton couple agreed to transfer ownership to the state of over 30 horses seized from their farm.
At civil court in Hartford, Thomas and Melanie Olajos made the deal right before opening arguments were scheduled to try to have their 32 horses returned.
Last month, state animal control officers also seized 78 chickens, 19 rabbits, and a pair of Great Danes from the farm, Fairy Tail Equine.
The state claims the animals were malnourished and medically neglected. With ownership now, the state expects to find new homes for the animals once they are better.
The Olajos' attorney, Ryan McGuigan, said the couple loved their animals, but just got overwhelmed with the cost of feeding them--about $20,000 a month.
"What is the message that's being sent? Is that you should put your animals down if you can't afford them?" McGuigan questioned. "If you can't get rid of them?"
The Olajos are due in Middletown Superior Court next Tuesday on their criminal charges of 35 counts of animal cruelty.
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