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An animal exhibitor in Wayne County is facing additional charges of animal cruelty

Rat-Lollypop sieze.jpg
photo provided
Lollypop Farm
A rat, one of the more than 1,400 animals seized from World of Wildlife Education Encounters in Wayne County, is being cared for at Lollypop Farm.

An ongoing investigation into a Wayne County organization has resulted in 9 additional counts of animal cruelty and neglect for its founder.

The Humane Society of Greater Rochester claims Sally Reaves kept animals in unsanitary and inhumane conditions at her World of Wildlife Encounters facility in Marion.

Since mid-March, humane investigators, in a joint investigation with the USDA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, seized over 1,400 animals from the property - including potbellied pigs, rats, ferrets, rabbits, birds, mice, cats, dogs, degus, emus and one Monitor lizard.

After the initial seizure on March 14, Reaves was charged with one count of failure to provide proper food and drink to impounded animal.

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photo provided
Lollypop Farm
A potbellied pig is one of the more than 1,400 animals seized from World of Wildlife Educational Encounters in Wayne County.

The latest charges fall under New York state Agriculture and Markets law prohibiting "overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals." The law was written over a century ago when it applied to working horses pulling carriages. But Reno DiDomenico, vice president for humane law enforcement at Lollypop Farm, said the charges against Reaves are based on alleged neglect.

He said animals at Reaves' facility were denied basic needs such as proper shelter, nutrition and water.

"There was no torture," he explained. "This was a care issue. Some of the charges involve birds, quail, that had caked-on feces on their feet from lack of changing the habitat of the birds."

DiDomenico descried one pregnant potbellied pig as severely malnourished.

Reaves denies the charges, according to her attorney, Christine Cook. Cook said her client has been caring for animals and educating the public about them for decades. She said the allegations involve a small fraction of the animals seized from the Wildlife Encounters facility.

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Lollypop Farm
A room at Lollypop Farm in Perinton overflows with animals seized from World of Wildlife Educational Encounters in Wayne County.

DiDomenico disagrees. "We have 1,400 animals here that say different," DiDomenico said. "They say they were neglected in some form or another."

Cook told WXXI News she receives mail daily in support of Reaves and her organization, but if the Humane Society is successful in its legal case in Marion Town Court, they want to prevent Reaves from owning more animals.

"We're hoping that we can get her to not own animals for at least another ten years," DiDomenico said.

If convicted, Reaves could face a $1,000 fine and/or up to a year in prison for each misdemeanor count.

Reaves did not respond to a message left at the phone number listed for World of Wildlife Educational Encounters. Cook said she is advising her client not speak to the media.

Many of the seized animals are still in the care of Lollypop Farm. Some exotic animals were temporarily transferred to local zoos and other organizations.

DiDomenico said the Humane Society plans to recruit volunteers to help care for the animals at the Perinton shelter.

If Lollypop Farm is granted legal custody of the animals, DiDomenico said some of them may be offered to the public for adoption.