ALDF Investigation Reveals Violations at Maryland’s Worst Breeding Facility Routinely Goes Unpunished

Posted on May 16, 2014

Animal Legal Defense Fund Calls on Feds to Enforce Penalties for Violations of Animal Welfare Act

For immediate release:

Megan Backus, ALDF

rescued-baby-goat-240x240BALTIMORE — After extensive review of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inspection records of commercial breeders in the state of Maryland—the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a formal letter this week to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), singling out one of the worst of these breeders—Thomas D. Morris, Inc.—and demanding the agency enforce the law against horrific violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Thomas D. Morris, Inc. is a commercial breeder of cows, goats, and pigs in Reisterstown (Baltimore County). ALDF’s review shows that Mr. Morris has committed numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act, causing animals in his care to continuously suffer from injury and illness, without punishment by federal authorities. ALDF is urging the USDA to move suffering animals to reputable shelters where they can receive veterinary attention, and to apply civil penalties and revoke the licenses of this commercial breeder for violating the AWA on multiple, documented occasions, including:

  • On August 19, 2013, Morris failed to provide adequate veterinary care and shelter to a goat unable to bear weight on her right rear leg, a goat with an egg-sized swelling on her shoulder, and a lamb with a serious limp. These injured animals had no access to shelter.
  • On July 16, 2013, Morris failed to provide adequate veterinary care to three sheep with fevers. In addition, Morris failed to maintain control of at least three of six calves previously documented as missing. According to Morris staff, two died, though staff could not produce records of their death, and the whereabouts of the third were unknown.
  • On July 2, 2013, Morris failed to provide adequate veterinary care to fifteen obviously lethargic unshorn sheep, in weather with a heat index of 96.5 degrees. In addition, two sheep and six calves did not have access to shelter.

“ALDF is deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of the animals confined at this Maryland breeding facility. The failure to provide basic care for these animals is shocking,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “We call upon the USDA to do their jobs and act on clear violations of federal law which have been thoroughly documented by their own agency.”

ALDF’s letter is available upon request.

30 thoughts on “ALDF Investigation Reveals Violations at Maryland’s Worst Breeding Facility Routinely Goes Unpunished

  1. Connie Latzko says:

    Let the punishment fit the crime.

  2. Amanda satterwhite says:

    Please hold these breeders accountable for their cruelty and neglect towards helpless animals!

  3. cheryl says:


  4. Linda Weiland says:

    This type of blatant disregard for the well- being of animals will never end until the law is enforced and it becomes known that people will PAY for such disgusting neglect.

  5. Jackie says:

    I thought animal cruelty (and this is such an obvious case) was now a felony in all 50 states. Why is it not being enforced?

  6. Brandywine Kopatich says:

    I will never understand where humans learned to be so ungrateful to other life.

  7. No one special says:

    Probably because it’s in Baltimore County…that county’s animal control is a joke. They probably don’t even care.

  8. Klara Larsen says:

    How can a human be like that. It seems to me it’s getting worse. We are signing and donating and nothing is getting better. What a sad world we live in.

  9. Kristen Woehlke says:

    Hold these people accountable for their crimes!

  10. Cheryl Dwyer says:

    These complaints are from last year, yet authorities have failed thus far to act on any of it. I agree this man should be severely punished, but while the authorities are at it, how about doing something to the investigators who KNEW and did NOTHING?

  11. Iris M says:

    Until people are held accountable for their blatant disregard for life, any life, and are subjected to consequences for abuse/neglect/pain & suffering inflicted on the innocent and weak.. nothing will change!
    Please be part of the solution to stop the horrors other living creatures endure at the hands of “humans”.

  12. Annette. Astin says:

    Absolutely appalling and must STOP.Punish them.

  13. Sherry says:

    Let’s see how long it takes for this piece of crap to get what he deserves! Animals deserve better from their caretakers!

  14. Sharon K says:

    As a Maryland resident I am appalled that this could go ignored in our State. Thank you ALDF for going after this torturer and protecting the animals!

  15. Susan Reaver says:

    Where at in Reisterstown cuz I walk dogs all around the area and have never seen a farm like this except for Sagamore and that’s mainly horses. There one does the street from me in owings mills but I think they just have cows

  16. Lee Weidenfeller says:

    People need to finally realize that they are GUARDIANS of animals, not owners. If you step into the role of a guardian, you assume the responsibility of providing and caring for the animals. If you fail to do so, the law should require that they are relinquished without argument. So many animals suffer so long, or die, waiting for someone to step up to the plate. The time has come for our society as a whole to step up to the plate.

  17. Annette Amarose says:

    I can not stand to see anyone or anything suffer. The time should fit the crime.

  18. laura says:

    How can we help?? How can we stop this???!!!

  19. Jessica says:

    Nothing is getting is getting done , there all like politicians . Give me money , I promise you the world then the y do the opposite !!!!

  20. Monique Holzer says:

    Please stop the abuse of helpless animals! There is no reason we should be allowing this abuse and neglect!

  21. I Opphile says:

    Maryland prides itself as an advanced state supporting right from wrong. Maybe the Governor should pay a visit to this place and stress the proper punishment …

  22. Anne Cutler says:

    Give the maximum possible punishment, these sadists will continue to torture animals unless they are stopped!

  23. Sylvia VanHoy says:

    Yes we are a breed of meateaters and yes, these animals have to come from farms. But it is not necessary nor humane to abuse said animals, before they are led to the slaughter. I’ve been told that better treatment of the animals leads to a better quality of meat. Obviously this farmer doesn’t care about either the treatment of his stock nor the quality of his product.

  24. Sylvia VanHoy says:

    Hold these & all abusers of animals accountable.

  25. Donna Salvino says:

    Stop the madness. It’s not that it’s getting worse it’s just in your face a lot more with being connected. I hear horror stories every day from either the Internet or the news. It’s just wrong. These sick individuals have to know that there is going to be VERY SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES for their ACTIONS. COMMUNITY SERVICE IS A JOKE. Jail Time AND Stiff Financial Penalties that would go toward helping animals everywhere and not just domestic animals either. Abuse is ramped everywhere on this planet and it is a shame. With the economy the way it is; it seems to me that animals are taking the brunt of it more and more. Let me know what I can do in my neighborhood in SW Florida. Also a animal abuser database, if their is not one already, needs to be implemented so that the public knows who these predators are and where they live so the community can keep an eye on them so they will never get the opportunity own or hurt another animal again; just like what we have today for SEX OFFENDERS. Humanity Has Lost It’s Way

  26. Joann Coan says:

    I don’t understand how things like this could still be happening? How people can still be doing this and not have their license taken away or still be in business!
    I believe by not supporting these type of inconsiderate “people/businesses and by making consumers become aware of these atrocities we could end this!

  27. Teresa says:

    APHIS & USDA are so lax in following the laws that it is appalling! Their licenses should be revoked and maximum penalties applied. (Do you think the APHIS & USDA will follow thru? PROBABLY NOT, as they don’t on other cases).

  28. Kathryn Bowerman says:

    This facility needs immediate closure and the people responsible for this suffering to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law to act as a deterrent to others.

  29. Jorge Torres says:

    The law should apply: An eye for an eye and see how quickly these and all crimes will stop.

  30. Talk people about how to treat animals with kindness and respect. Animals are living creatures who have the ability to feel pain, joy and sadness.

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