On Monday, October 26, 2015, Anne Goland (a.k.a. Anne Shumate Williams) was arrested in Orange County, VA, on 27 counts of animal cruelty after numerous horses were found dead on her property. As of yesterday, according to NBC Channel 29, investigators have removed 81 horses, mules and donkeys (and additional cats and dogs) from Goland’s Somserset farm. According to Orange County Sheriff Mark Amos (as reported by NBC Channel 29), ““What I saw was one of the most horrendous sights I’ve ever seen in 28 years of law enforcement,” Sheriff Amos said.”
Goland allegedly relocated horses to this farm from her Dickerson, Maryland property after numerous complaints were made about her animals to Montgomery County authorities last January. NBC Channel 29 published this statement from Thomas J. Koenig, director of Montgomery County Animal Services (Department of Police):
According to our records, Ms. Anne Goland and her husband owned property at the address you provided; however, to our knowledge neither Ms. Goland nor her husband actually resided on this property.
Since January 2015, Animal Service Officers were dispatched to his address for repeated check-the-welfare calls regarding the horses residing on this property. On May 29, 2015, the last recorded complaint, an Animal Services Officer responded to the Dickerson address and issued a Notice to Comply to Ms. Goland citing unsanitary conditions and inadequate water.
As a follow-up to this notification, the same officer then charged Ms. Goland with Improper Drink, 5-201 (A)(10). The unsanitary conditions were more than adequately resolved.
Every time an Animal Services Officer evaluated the condition of the horses, they were found to be, on average, in fair to good condition. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Goland removed the horses from the Dickerson property and relocated them to her property in Virginia.
While residing in Montgomery County, none of the horses was found to be in the condition cited in the recently reported Orange County, Virginia case. The Montgomery County Animal Services Division staff contacted Orange County Animal Control to give them a heads-up regarding this case.
To our knowledge, no animals currently reside at the Dickerson, Maryland residence.