KEARNEY, Mo. — The Kearney, Missouri Police Department is investigating a complaint of animal neglect at a popular fall spot where thousands of families go.
The Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch has denied any allegations of animal neglect and malnourishment.
Owner Tommy Christopher gave FOX4 a tour of the grounds Tuesday.
“I think our animals are well taken care of,” Christopher said. “We love our animals.”
Sam Newman said she was recently at a friend’s property that backs up to a Fun Farm pasture and saw their animals.
“I noticed that they were just terrible looking,” Newman said. “Their hair was matted, they were skin and bones, they were scrounging around for food, there wasn’t a lot of grass in the pasture for them.”
Photos show a horse with its ribs showing. Another picture shows a water trough with green water.
A woman identifying herself only as a former Fun Farm employee says she started taking pictures of worrisome conditions when things first started getting bad two years ago.
“[The animal’s] living conditions, two would be their food source and water, and three would just be their overall health conditions.”
Christopher said he stands by the conditions all his animals are in. Fun Farm refuted allegations made against them on social media in a Facebook post Monday.
“It’s very hurtful as an animal lover and a businessperson to see,” Christopher said. “If someone did see an issue with our animals it would be nice if they would just come to the front door and say, ‘Hey, we think you have an issue,’ and told us.”
The animals on the FOX4 crew’s tour appeared in good health.
Christopher said they take in rescue animals who are not always in the best condition. He said the horse with the ribs showing is in a separate corral where he will be checked out by the state veterinarian Thursday.
“Come out and see our animals,” Christopher said. “They’re out here, and as you’ve seen, they’re healthy.”
The Kearney officer was at the Fun Farm property Monday morning. The department won’t say anything else, calling it under investigation.
Police have alerted the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division, too, and their vet will be investigating.
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