By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Gabrielle Bastian
William DeSimone

COOPERSTOWN – Two Town of New Lisbon residents, William J. Desimone, 43, and Gabrielle Bastian, 52, were charged with torturing and injuring animals and other counts following the seizure of more than 100 animals in a farm near Garrattsville over the weekend.

Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. announced the details a few minutes ago.

Responding to a report Friday evening of a goose caught in an electrified fence, deputies discovered seven dogs living in poor conditions in the house at 166 Backus Road.

“One was locked inside a standard wire dog cage half full of excrement, allowing only enough room for the dog to crouch,” Devlin’s incident report said.  “The door to the side room of the basement could only be pushed open a few inches due to the severe depth of excrement piled on the floor.”

Expanding the search to the 26-acre farmette, deputies found “numerous animals all across the property that were kept and maintained in the same deplorable conditions as the dogs in the basement,” the report said.

Located on the property were 20 pigs, seven donkeys, 13 chickens, three ducks, 25 geese, 13 sheep, seven rabbits, one turkey, one guinea hen, two parakeets, one pigeon, a cat and a tortoise.

DeSimone, who is the property owner of record, and Bastian weren’t home, but deputies contacted them by phone, they returned to the house Friday evening, and were arrested.

According to the release, DeSimone was issued an appearance ticket “due to extenuating circumstances” and Bastian was arraigned in New Lisbon Town Court.

In addition to torturing and injuring animals, the couple were charged with growing and possession of marijuana.  Both are scheduled to appear at 5 p.m. April 25 in the town court.

Authorities secured “Ownership Surrenders” for all the animals, and the Susquehanna Animal Shelter was contacted.

Shelter director Stacie Haynes and multiple other volunteers arrived and assisted with the seizure of nine dogs and one cat.  Dr. Kathy Mahon, and the Leatherstocking Veterinarian Staff, provided outstanding assistance with the check up of all the animals, as well as assisting in finding them homes.

All the animals were relocated to safety by Saturday evening.



  1. Candace Seaton

    Please don’t fall into mob mentality. I know for a fact that this home and farm have always been immaculate. I have know them for years. If you doubt me look at William DeSimone’s FB will see a beautiful well tended home and farm with healthy happy animals. The electric fence was to protect the animals fro coyotes, not to harm them. He sadly trusted and evil person to look after the farm while he recovered from an illness..could happen to anybody.

  2. Jacqueline Huerkamp

    I want to know if they appeared on April 25th and what sentence they received.

  3. gracie

    There are ALWAYS two sides to a story. And I’m NOT in any way, shape, or form trying to defend ANYone, so pls no nasty comments. MAYBE I am too naive
    or not cynical enough, but who knows the real story? Perhaps someone was supposed to watch farm in their absence, or… js

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