Woman arrested after hundreds of animals seized, sent to Lollypop Farm

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — A woman is facing animal cruelty charges in connection to hundreds of animals being seized, officials from Lollypop Farm announced Friday.

Authorities say 72-year-old Sally Reeves was arrested Friday in connection to the neglect of hundreds of animals at her facility, World of Wildlife Education Encounters in Marion, New York.

Nearly 800 animals including rats, mice, guinea pigs, degus, ferrets, and rabbits, were seized from the facility on Monday, March 14, and brought to Lollypop Farm in need of immediate care.

Officials say among the animals recovered were 475 mice, 155 rats, 42 rabbits, 25 guinea pigs, 48 ​​degus, 6 spiny mice, 5 pigs, and 2 ferrets with multiple litters of babies being born daily.

Lollypop Farm veterinary and shelter staff have been working to examine each animal to ensure all ailments are being cared for and to prevent the spread of disease among the population.

“The conditions these animals were discovered in were unsanitary and inhumane. Soiled, 10-gallon terrariums were discovered each with over 100 mice living crammed together,” describes Vice-President for Humane Law Enforcement Reno Di Domenico. “Ammonia levels due to excrement made it difficult for staff working with the animals, but we were able to safely remove nearly 800 animals living in these conditions. We are happy to share, these pets are now in clean habitats and being cared for by Lollypop Farm’s veterinary and shelter staff.”

Reeves has been ordered to appear at Marion Town Court on April 6, 2022. The misdemeanor offense could lead up to a $1,000 fine and/or up-to one year in prison.

Officials said Tuesday that Lollypop is asking for community support to make sure the animals can continue to receive proper housing, food, and medical care during their stay.

Lollypop officials say anyone can help these animals by visiting a local Pet Supplies Plus store for supplies, or by visiting this website. They say the greatest needs currently are Timothy hay, small mammal foods — like rodent block or guinea pig pellets — towels and sheets.

Officials say Wegmans gift cards for fruits and vegetables are appreciated, as well as tissue boxes and toilet paper tubes.

According to Lollypop, this remains an active investigation, and details regarding the case are limited at this time.

Lollypop officials said around 4 pm Tuesday that, between staff and volunteers, they are able to care for the animals with feeding and cleaning. They said they will need foster homes eventually, and folks interested can sign up to become foster care volunteers online.

In a statement sent to News 8, Reaves said:

“We are devastated with the recent seizure of some of our animals who have acted as animal ambassadors in our wildlife programs through the years. The animals that were seized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were removed because of an error in licensing paperwork, not because of their living conditions or health. The “800” animals taken to Lollypop Farm were primarily rodents with their babies. Rats and mice can have between 10 to 15 babies at a time and these babies were included as part of that number (For example 50 mice that have 10 babies each suddenly turn into 500 animals if you count them individually) which is what was done. Unfortunately, many of the reports out there are more sensationalistic than fact. We are currently working with the proper people to get everything corrected and have our animals safely returned to us. We would like to thank all of those who have reached out and provided us with positive affirmations and support during this trying time. Your faith and confidence in us are greatly appreciated.”

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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