Charles City County farm owner stripped of her animals denies abuse, neglect claims

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CHARLES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Charles City County woman was stripped of her farm animals in July after allegations of abuse and neglect. She spoke one-on-one with 8News Thursday for the first time since the seizure.

Theresia Connell was running a farm school on her property, complete with horses, goats and sheep, when the county took her animals. She’s not appealing the court’s ruling but told 8News the school will go on.

“So, this is goat hill, they would just be all over the place up here,” Connell said, “and they had a little playground there that they loved.”

RELATED: Parent says she never saw signs of abuse at farm for students, children

Connell, the owner of Independence “Fun”ie Farm and Local Stew U, a farming high school, says she never neglected or abused her animals.

“We were out here every day every single day with the animals,” she said, “working on fencing, working on improvements working with the animals.”

Images of Connell’s animals were shared in court, showing skinny horses with their ribs exposed, and witnesses for the county labeled how Connell treated the animals as neglect.

WATCH: Connell responds to bones found on her property and previous animal cruelty charges

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