Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18561
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: rodent/small mammal (pet)
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Thursday, Sep 8, 2011

County: Norfolk

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Craig Legge

Animal cruelty charges have been leveled against a Dean Street man for allegedly leaving two pet ferrets in a maggot-infested cage for more than a month without food or clean water.

Craig Legge, 21, of 10 Dean St., Norfolk, was arrested Thursday after a family member reported the ferrets' condition to the town's animal control officer, who seized the animals at the end of August, Norfolk Animal Control Officer Hilary Cohen said.

The two ferrets, Muzzy and Powder, were found 50 percent underweight in a shed outside Legge's house, where they appear to have been left for between one and two months, Cohen said.

The cage inside the shed where the ferrets were kept was completely unsanitary, Cohen said, with maggots crawling at the bottom and only green drinking water.

"When I first got the call, I thought people were just trying to get rid of their ferrets," Cohen said. "It wasn't until they showed me the conditions they were in that I knew I had to take them." Both ferrets, females age 2 and 3, were taken to the Massachusetts Ferret Friends shelter in Marshfield, where they will be kept in quarantine for a period of time before being rehabilitated and eventually put up for adoption.

According to Cohen, Legge's ex-girlfriend had been the legal owner of Muzzy and Powder, but had left them with Legge when the couple broke up.

"You have to really love ferrets," Cohen said. "They are really cool pets, incredibly social, problem solvers. They love to play with people. But they do have a smell."

At some point, Cohen said, the smell of the ferrets began to bother Legge, and he took them out to the backyard shed.

Cohen said family members may have given the ferrets some food since they were placed in the shed.

After his arrest, Legge was arraigned in Wrentham District Court Thursday and released. Attempts to reach Legge by phone Saturday evening were unsuccessful.

While this is her first case involving ferrets in 16 years on the job, Cohen said it has been a busy time for animal cruelty investigations in town.

In May, authorities seized a 22-year-old malnourished mustang from a Marshall Street farm, and last September, a Stop River Road man pleaded guilty to beating a 2-year-old dog.

"It just seems like I am going from one case to next," Cohen said.


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