1,000 dead pigs found on PA farm, left to starve months ago, officials say

A jaw-dropping case of animal cruelty on a farm west of Harrisburg.

The remains of nearly 1,000 pigs were found in a barn in Fulton County on Monday, months after they had been intentionally trapped in there and abandoned.

Humane officer Dennis Bumbaugh told the Public Opinion newspaper of Chambersburg he believed it was the worst case of animal cruelty in Pennsylvania history.

Authorities say the 218-acre farm was for sale and owner Daniel Clark had left it sometime in August, about the time humane officials say they believe the pigs were abandoned.

In a story published Friday the newspaper reported that farm equipment had been intentionally positioned in front of the barn doors to block the animals' escape. Bumbaugh said there was evidence that the pigs did indeed try to escape.

A team from the ASPCA was on hand documenting the scene and collecting evidence. 

The farm animal protection advocacy group, Farm Sanctuary, urged local authorities to press criminal charges against any individuals responsible for starving the animals.

The group's president, Gene Baur, called it a case of "unconscionable neglect."

"It's important to remember that pigs and other farm animals are as intelligent and sentient as cats or dogs," said Baur. "These pigs died a horrible death, struggling for freedom, and no one came to their rescue.

Bumbaugh told the Public Opinion cruelty charges are likely.