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Thyme Is Up At The Ranch

The Thyme and Sage Ranch located in Cazenovia, WI touts itself as an animal sanctuary. Richmond County has worked successfully in conjunction with the sanctuary...

Horst Hoefinger  |  May 20th 2009


The Thyme and Sage Ranch located in Cazenovia, WI touts itself as an animal sanctuary. Richmond County has worked successfully in conjunction with the sanctuary to help homeless animals.

In January 2009 the county signed a two-year contract with them to take care of rescues and in return the ranch would be paid $750 a month. It appeared to be the perfect arrangement, until this week.

More than 300 dogs – many suffering from open wounds and housed in feces-ridden conditions – were seized Tuesday from a shelter that had been operating as a sanctuary for lost and found animals in Richland County.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant at 6 a.m. for Thyme and Sage Ranch in Cazenovia and impounded the dogs and about 20 other animals including horses, rabbits, chickens, goats, horses, sheep and llamas.

“We have found some (dog) carcasses on the property,” said Eric Sakach, senior law enforcement specialist for the Humane Society of the United States.

“Many of the dogs, ranging from small to large breeds, were housed in poor conditions and suffering from ailments including severely matted fur, open wounds, and skin infections,” the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said in a statement. “The dogs were housed in a multiple enclosures, many poorly ventilated, as well as outdoor kennels.”

Larry Wyman, chairman of the Richland County Law Enforcement Committee meets with the Sheriff’s Department once a month and hasn’t had any reports of problems at Thyme and Sage. However, if you go online and search Thyme and Sage Ranch you will see many complaints. It makes you wonder if the county was looking to sweep the issue under the carpet , or if they were really unaware.

The rescued dogs have been taken to the Dane County Humane Society where they are receiving medical care. If you would like to donate to the Dane County Humane Society’s Rescue Relief Fund you can do so through its Web site: www.giveshelter.org.

Anyone with information regarding Thyme and Sage Ranch should contact the Richland County district attorney’s office at 647-3493.

* Lexi is a beautiful girl available for adoption through the DCHS