Over 120 animals were on the property - many were hiding and terrified. They obviously had never been treated kindly by humans and didn't yet trust us even though we were there to help.
Our rescue team was on the scene, along with other farm sanctuaries, to save the living. And we all knew we wouldn't leave until we had saved them all. The man who owned them had bought them at livestock auctions and was breeding and slaughtering them on his leased farm land and serving their remains at his restaurant.
The conditions they were being kept in were squalid and they were allowed to breed, so many of the animals being rescued are pregnant or nursing babies.
Others were isolated in their own small runs, up to their knees in their own feces. Severed heads and hooves littered a makeshift slaughterhouse stocked with blood-soaked chain saws and reciprocating saws. Goat remains - with front legs crossed and tied to the tops of fences - rotted where they'd been left to die tethered in agony. The living were made to live among the dead. Overcoming our sense of horror, we gently ushered the animals out of that hell and into the transport trucks bound for sanctuary. As we loaded them into the trucks we told them that that they were safe, that we loved them, and that we were so sorry.