RICHLAND COUNTY (WKOW) --- Five years ago Monday, more than 400 animals were rescued from The Thyme & Sage Ranch in Richland County.
The ASPCA along with multiple law enforcement agencies, seized the animals that included more than 300 dogs from the Cazenovia property.
Many of the animals suffered from skin issues, missing teeth, eye infections, matted down hair, and overgrown nails. Some had more troubling concerns.
After the investigation and long court battle, owner Jennifer Petkus was charged with 39 misdemeanors in the case, but was convicted on six counts of animal cruelty. Part of her sentence included probation which ended last month.
WKOW followed the investigation, from the early stages before the bust, the seizure of the animals, the long court battle, and now we wanted to highlight the happy endings.
We met with two adoptive families and got to meet Benny and Cappy.
Captain Fuzz, also known as Cappy, lives with her owners, Bob and Carol Rau. Bob worked at Dane County Humane Society when all of the animals were brought there until the ASPCA could get them cleaned up and released to area shelters.
Carol explains how Cappy was emaciated, hairless, had to have teeth removed, an eye removed , and underwent two internal surgeries.
Bob says it was unbelievable to see the animals in that shape and to help them adjust as many were scared of grass when staff wanted to walk them.
Cappy also lives with a black lab, Dart, and the two have become friends.
Bob and Carol say Cappy will never be a normal dog, but she is loving and fits right at home with them.
Then there is Benny. Benny lives with his owner Betsy Halat who is an adoption counselor at the Dane County Humane Society.
Benny was first adopted there, but his original family brought Benny back with trouble training him. Betsy jumped in and fostered Benny, and ultimately found her new best friend she just couldn't let go of.
Lucky for Benny, he gets to come to work with Betsy and show off his cool tricks and even get a little extra attention from staff.
Benny is now a social butterfly. He can sit, roll over, and even give paw.
Betsy says, if there is one lesson that many of them learned from the Thyme & Sage Ranch bust, it was that animals are truly forgiving. After so many social and physical issues for many of them, they have learned to love life in their new homes.
WATCH their video stories above.
Thanks to all of the adoptive families and the animal rescues who sent us photos in the slideshow above.
SLIDESHOW: Happy endings, the 5 year anniversary of Richland County animal bustMore>>