Windsor woman charged with arson following 2 animal sanctuary fires

·2 min read
Chatham-Kent police have charged a Windsor woman following two fires at Charlotte's Freedom Farm. The woman was a former volunteer at the farm.  (Facebook  - image credit)
Chatham-Kent police have charged a Windsor woman following two fires at Charlotte's Freedom Farm. The woman was a former volunteer at the farm. (Facebook - image credit)

A Windsor woman with ties to an animal sanctuary in Dresden, Ont. has been charged with two counts of arson and one charge of uttering threats after a barn housing rescue animals burned down.

"We are saddened and heartbroken that someone could have betrayed the animals and us like this," representatives from Charlotte's Freedom Farm farm wrote on their Facebook page.

All of the animals at Charlotte's Freedom Farm are farm-rescues and have been rehabilitated after experiencing abuse or neglect.

"At this time, as the matter is before the courts, we are not able to make any further comments," the post on the farm's Facebook page added.

Chatham-Kent Police laid the charges in response to a series of events that took place at the farm over the course of the last year. The accused was living on the farm and was at one time heralded a "hero" by other volunteers for quickly responding to one of the fires.

It started on July 1, 2020 when what was described a 'suspicious' barn fire killed 22 animals at the sanctuary — including five cats, one dog and a one-year-old pony. The damages were estimated at $300,000 according to police.

Later, on October 2 of that same year, a threatening letter was received by the farm's owner.

Then, on June 20, 2021, less than a year since the first fire, a trailer caught fire on the property. It amounted to $15,000 in damages, and no one was harmed.

At the time, in a post to Instagram, the farm said it experienced "a very traumatic attack."

The police major crime unit has now identified a former volunteer as the culprit.

A 30-year-old Windsor woman is charged with uttering threats and two counts of arson.

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