Attorneys say Linda Mellin never abused animals

The Enterprise — Saranac Hale Spencer
Baa, baa brown sheep: among the five sheep that were removed from a Berne animal rescue shelter last week was this one. They are now being housed at Camp Pinnacle in New Scotland.

BERNE — Linda Mellin, a Berne woman charged with neglecting over 50 animals on her rescue farm, pleaded not guilty in Berne Town Court Tuesday night.

Mellin’s attorneys told The Enterprise that they will be arguing that Mellin never abused her animals and that accounts from veterinarians who visited the animals after she was charged will prove they were not harmed or neglected.

Mellin is charged with eight counts of failure to provide sustenance by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, which executed a search warrant of her property on Sickle Hill Road after News Channel 13 received an anonymous tip and informed the Sheriff’s Office.

Three horses, five pigs, five sheep, 17 goats, approximately 15 chickens, four dogs, and two cats were seized from her property and brought to Camp Pinnacle, a Christian youth camp and retreat which has facilities to house the animals.

Mellin agreed to give up the animals seized from her property in lieu of a bond payment. Andrew R. Safranko, an attorney representing Mellin, said that she had agreed to give up her animals because she would have had to pay a $6,000 cash bond every month until her case was closed.

Safranko and fellow attorney, Nicholas J. Evanovich III, said that the animals on Mellin’s farm were covered in mud due to the wet weather, and that it’s possible whoever called in to News Channel 13 may have mistaken muddy animals for neglected ones.

Accounts from those who knew Mellin and a blog she kept indicate she had long-aspired to run a rescue farm. According to the Sheriff’s Office, her farm was known as D&W Farm and Animal Rescue.

A trial in Berne Town Court is scheduled for July 11.


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