Four years after the animal seizure at Thyme and Sage Ranch - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Four years after the animal seizure at Thyme and Sage Ranch


MADISON (WKOW)-- Four years ago Sunday, one of the largest animal seizures in our area took place at the Thyme and Sage Ranch in Richland County.

The animal rescue ranch was home to hundreds of animals, but four years ago they were all seized and the owner was accused of abuse.

"There were over 400 animals that were a part of this big case. That was one of the largest things we have ever been a part of," Gayle Viney of Dane County Humane Society says.

Around 325 dogs and dozens of horses, cats, rabbits and other animals were brought to Dane County Humane Society. Workers set up tents to treat and help the animals and find them new homes.

"We couldn't bring them into the shelter for fear of if they had any type of illness that it would be affecting the animals that were already at the shelter," Viney explains.

Since then almost all of the animals have found homes. A handful had to be euthanized due to their poor health.

"We hope to not have to see that again, but it's good to know that we have experience and that we have the support and resources to help out if we ever needed to be part of something like that again," Viney says.

After a lengthy investigation, the owner Jennifer Petkus was charged with 39 misdemeanors in the case, but was convicted on six counts of animal cruelty. Now, she's in the middle of a three year probation and can't own any new animals.

Petkus says she was recently awarded more than $200,000 in the case. A judge found her fourth amendment rights were violated during the seizure of the animals and she got $60,000. She says she received another $133,000 for negligence during the search.

Four years later the case is still being hashed out.

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