On March 22, 2024 Greene County deputies were dispatched to 1261 Greene 739 Rd for a welfare check on Brenda Ramthun, owner/operator of Greene County Animal Farm. A concerned citizen, who had been trying to contact Ramthun for weeks to inquire about volunteering, arrived at the property to find several dogs running loose in the county road. The concerned party stated that she was unable to make contact with Ramthun, and that there were several packages stacked up at the entrance gate appearing as if someone had not been there in quite some time.

Several individuals, ranging from detectives to current animal farm volunteers, tried to contact Ramthun via phone but failed. Both vehicles that Ramthun is known to drive were at the residence as well. Two volunteers for the animal farm advised law enforcement that this behavior was not like Ramthun.

Approaching the home to check on Ramthun’s welfare, deputies noted that the back door of the residence was open and that animals were running in and out of the home. Deputies tried to knock on the front door to contact Ramthun but received no response. Once again, contact was attempted via phone, but Ramthun did not answer. Deputies looked through a window of the residence and witnessed several animals inside, some locked in cages and some running about. The smell of urine and feces from inside the house was so strong that it could be smelled through the closed window.

During the last interaction law enforcement had with Ramthun, she stated that she was very ill and that she would be making arrangements to ensure that all the animals were taken care of in the event that she could no longer care for them. Deputies walked the large piece of property trying to locate Ramthun in case she was hurt or injured somewhere on the property.

While walking around the property looking for Ramthun to make sure she was safe, deputies noted that there were more than one hundred (100) animals on the property including dogs, cats, horses, and a pig. Many of these animals had no food. There were small pens that housed multiple dogs, and many of the animals did not have access to water. Three of the horses were locked in what appeared to be 7ft x 7ft stalls and had no water. For the few pens of animals that did have access to water, the water was green in color and some of the dogs were not able to access it. Based on these facts, a search warrant was issued on March 25, 2024 in order for investigators to return to the property for photographs, inventorying of animals, and assessing the animals’ conditions at 1261 Greene 739 Rd.

As investigators were further conducting their investigation, it was learned that Ramthun also owns property at 1647 Greene 739 Rd. A visual inspection from the roadway noted a gated driveway with a sign stating that the Greene County Animal Farm was a 501(c)(3) organization. The 501(c)(3) designation indicates that the Greene County Animal Farm is a non-profit organization and that donations made to the Greene County Animal Farm could be considered tax deductible. A roadside view of the property at 1647 Greene 739 Rd showed many animals there too. An aerial view of the property at 1647 Greene 739 Rd also noted several structures and enclosures on the property. A second search warrant was issued for this parcel where investigators found more animals that were not being properly cared for.

As this investigation involves such a large number of animals, officials with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) were contacted and are assisting with this case. Investigators have been working since day one to find local placement for these animals, however, as one could imagine it has been difficult at best. While this investigation is on-going, our number one priority is to take care of these animals and get them to a safe place where they can be examined, treated, and cared for. As a side note, in continuance of the investigation, detectives queried the State of Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office regarding the 501(c)(3) status of the Greene County Animal Farm and found that the 501(c)(3) status of the farm was statutorily dissolved as of July 31, 2023.

My department is fully aware of the lack of facilities available for the care of animals. This is a matter we struggle with weekly, if not daily. However, we must ensure that those that care for animals and/or operate shelters or rescues can do so in an effective and humane manner.

As this matter is still being investigated, no further information will be released.

**Edited to add: Ms. Ramthun was located that day and was fine. As stated just above, this is still being investigated.

-Sheriff Brad Snyder