Tuesday, July 5, 2016

HARRISON COUNTY, KY JUNE 2016

Harness Horse Electrocuted by Trainer
June 30th, 2016

Harrison County, Kentucky – Prosecutors are charging  Michael Neafus (Mikey) with level 6 felony animal abuse after witness’ saw him abusing a horse.  Mikey, who trains and drives harness racing horses, allegedly took 3-year-old Shares Desires out of her stall, tied her up, and repeatedly shocked her for up to 10 minutes at a time.  Shares Desires “went nuts” according to the witness.  Mikey would also shock Shares Desires in her stall.
Owner, Ronald Conrad, is particularly upset at Mikey’s behavior.  “I’ve known Mikey since he was a baby. His father and I, when Louisville Downs was racing, we had horses together,” Conrad told reporters.  “It’s puzzling to me, because I thought he was a real friend.”  Shares Desires has a special place in Conrad’s heart, she was with him the day his brother died.  “He had had a massive heart attack and died that day.  So, that’s why she’s special to me.”
Harrison County District Attorney is pressing for the fullest punishment allowed by law.  “Every time you have allegations of animal abuse it makes you want to cringe,” Harrison County Prosecutor Otto Schalk told reporters. “In Harrison County we take animal cruelty very seriously, whether you’re a dog owner or in this case a horse trainer, if you torturing or abusing a defenseless animal, we are coming after you.”  Mikey is free on a $2,000 bond and is expected in court today.  He faces 2 1/2 years in prison if convicted.
Shares Desires seems to be ok, despite being quite skittish for a few days.

News Of The Horse

MERCER COUNTY UPDATE JUNE 2016

Update: Borell Horses In Dire Condition 

The twisting and troubled story of trainer Maria Borell took another shocking turn this week when more than 40 horses owned by her and/or her father, Chuck, were again found in deplorable conditions at yet another rented Kentucky farm. The group of horses, now located on a private property in Mercer County just outside of Harrodsburg, is the same as was previously found and documented to be in poor shape via photos and cell phone video in Woodford County by trainer Ken Summerville a few days before this year’s Kentucky Derby (GI).
Summerville, who hasn’t given up his quest to find the three horses he says Maria Borell took from him via lien when he was hospitalized in 2014 battling a life-threatening auto-immune disease, said once he found out the horses were moved out of Woodford County he set out trying to find their location. He called in multiple favors from multiple friends to get his hands on the address and, after a few weeks of searching, finally unearthed the location in late May.
“I never thought (the horses would) be released by the authorities from Stonegate (the farm in Woodford County rented by the Borells),” Summerville said. “So when I heard they were moved, I was angry and I was absolutely going to find them. I just hoped it’d be in time to help them.”
Armed with a group of friends to help document the conditions of the horses, ten days before the Belmont Stakes, Summerville went to the Mercer county property and found the horses in worse shape than ever. He and his group documented several horses of all ages with open sores all over their bodies, as well as yearlings not yet weaned and nearly every one hadn’t had blacksmith attention in months. Additionally, the horses were drinking unclean water from filthy buckets and troughs and many were housed in paddocks with broken fences that had yet to be repaired.
“They are the same horses as were on Kara’s farm and also Stonegate and were much worse off than they’d ever been, no question,” Summerville said. “At least with the other farms there were people there every day, but not this one. The owner lives in Tennessee and aside from another person renting space on the other side of the farm, nobody was watching.”
Longtime horsewoman Tres Delaforce, who is also a trainer, agreed to accompany Summerville on that first visit to the Mercer County property mostly because she wanted to see the condition of the horses herself. She says she heard about the poor care of Borell’s horses for “a long time,” but wanted to see the alleged neglect herself.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire life,” Delaforce said. “Those horses hadn’t had basic care or regular feed in months. They were skin and bones. None were in acceptable shape. There was a worker there who told us the horses hadn’t had food in at least 10 days at that point — and you could tell. Some were even locked in a barn the entire time they were there, which had to have been at least two weeks. There was a dog there that the worker told me had been locked in a stall and that they were feeding her cat food.”
Following that visit, Summerville and Delaforce immediately paid a visit to the Mercer County sheriff, Ernie Kelty, to notify him of the condition of the horses and to see if there were any legal channels to help the horses. The sheriff agreed to investigate, they said, but acknowledged to them that it would take some time. For the past few weeks, Summerville and Delaforce have been waiting for the wheels of justice to finally turn in favor of the horses and all follow-up calls to Kelty were either unreturned or they were told the situation was in the “state’s hands.”
Then, this past Thursday, a volunteer on the farm desperate for help contacted Summerville. The volunteer told him that in the three weeks since she last saw Chuck Borell the condition of the horses has reached a dire situation and many cannot wait much longer for the state to intervene.
“She told me the horses were worse than ever,” Summerville said. “And that I needed to come and see right away. So I went back and she was right. Bad. Just bad.”
Summerville took photos and videos of the neglect. Delaforce, who thought she’d seen the worst of it, was stunned.
“The fact that (county and state officials) knew about this for weeks and let this continue boggles the mind,” Delaforce said. “I was speechless and that’s saying a lot for me. I could barely take any photos I was so stunned. Stunned.”
According to the volunteer, some feed has been provided by the sheriff, as well as volunteers, but the horses need much more, including grain and vet care and attention from a blacksmith. The volunteer said neither Maria Borell nor her father have contributed at all to the horses’ expenses and haven’t been seen or heard from in weeks.
“They left one woman to be in charge of taking care of all of the horses and organizing volunteers,” the source said. “She’s doing the best she can, but there are too many horses to take care of and too many are in such bad shape. They’ve had hay, but that’s been only since the sheriff stepped in. They haven’t had vet care and only a couple have seen the blacksmith and I guess he wasn’t paid either. No vet will come out unless they’re paid first.
“Nobody’s even sure who owns the horses. (Borell) I guess has said they’re his daughter’s horses, but he’s told some other people they’re his, so I don’t know what to think. All we know is that one or both of them are responsible for these horses and nobody has seen either of them in weeks. I’ve never even seen Maria herself. I was told she was here the first day they moved in and hasn’t been back since.”
The woman left in charge, Angie Cheak, when contacted by phone would only say she’s doing her best to care for the horses with limited resources.
“I don’t have a comment,” Cheak said. “We are doing the best we can. I can’t say anything else.”
Borell, who was the listed trainer for Gallery Racing’s Runhappy when the three-year-old won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) last October 31, was recently sued by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital for non-payment of fees and didn’t show up to a scheduled hearing in Fayette County on June 10. She also has other default judgments against her and her training license in Kentucky is currently listed as “not valid” and “suspended for non-payment” in New York.
Additionally, Borell is currently involved in litigation against Gallery owner Jim McIngvale, who she alleges terminated her from her duties as private trainer and refused to pay the standard ten percent to trainers for winning, as is customary in racing for independent contractors. Borell maintains she had no such agreement despite her role as private trainer and has refused comment since late last year.
Calls and emails to the Mercer County sheriff, the county attorney, Milward Dedman, and the Kentucky state veterinarian were not returned as of this writing.
 

MERCER COUNTY, KY, MAY 2016


Mercer Co. Sheriff investigating possible animal neglect case at thoroughbred farm

        
 
He says they believe the thoroughbred horses have been at the farm for two to three weeks, and the man who is leasing the farm has hired two people to take care of the horses there.
Sheriff Kelty said the man leasing the farm is cooperating with the investigation. WKYT has chosen not to release the man's name because he has not been charged.
Sheriff Kelty said he is working with a state agriculture official about the possible neglect of the horses. He met with that official on Thursday afternoon.
He says the state is getting involved partly because of the sheer number of horses, and partly because where the horses came from may end up being outside Mercer County, and therefore outside his office's jurisdiction.
Regardless of who leads the investigation, Sheriff Kelty said the important thing is that the horses are now being taken care of, and he says investigators will get to the bottom of all this.
"This definitely is serious to us," he said. "We've let everybody that's involved know that this is very serious to us and that we're going to do anything and everything we can to gather all the facts and make sure those horses are taken care of."
Kelty said the investigation is ongoing as they try to track down who was responsible for taking care of the horses.
One neighbor told WKYT's Garrett Wymer that this was the first he had heard of the investigation, but that he saw a couple trucks with trailers pull into the farm a couple of weeks ago. But, he added, that is not out of the ordinary around there.

WKYT

Saturday, November 21, 2015

FAYETTE COUNTY, KY NOVEMBER 2015

Lexington horse owner convicted of animal mistreatment     11/11/2015

 
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) –
Local horse owner and trainer, Francis Lee McKinney was prosecuted by the Fayette County Attorney’s Office, according to Lexington-Fayette Animal Care & Control.

The shelter says Mckinney was convicted Friday on four counts of miscare and mistreatment of animals.

A statement by Lexington Fayette Animal Care & Control says the charges were filed after four of Mckinney’s horses were found in poor condition in March.

Animal Control says three horses were found on March 11 and were underweight and in need of veterinary care. The fourth horse was found suffering and unable to stand on March 30th.

McKinney was convicted on all charges and taken into custody. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail and has to pay a fine of $2,000.

Animal Control officials say they have been investigating McKinney for more than a decade. Officials say two of horses from Friday’s conviction were apart of a previous investigation.

In February 2011, three horses were taken away from her property for ‘lack of care.’ Animal Control held the horses for 11 months before the case was resolved and McKinney was allowed to regain custody.

WTVQ

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SCOTT COUNTY, KY APRIL 2015

Scott Co. Animal Control Forced To Rescue Horses Second Time From Same Home

Posted: Apr 20, 2015 4:44 PM EDT        
Updated: Apr 20, 2015 6:25 PM EDT            

                                                                   


Animal Control Officers in Scott County are angered after they rescued some horses for a second time. After horses that they rescued and nursed back to health 14-years-ago were returned to the family they had been rescued from once before.



Scott County Animal Control officers say that two horses under the county's care are the luckier ones.
Officers seized them from a home on Double Culvert Road. Their owner, Jackie Lamn, now faces three charges of animal cruelty. A report states that the horses were extremely thing and malnourished.

"They weren't fed, what it comes down to, they weren't taken care of,” says Nathan Mullikin.

A third horse, a stallion had to be euthanized.
A vet said that was the only humane thing to do. "We couldn't get him to stand up he was so weak,” says Mullikin.
Dunny, the euthanized horse, had been seized once before back in 2001 along with the other two horses when Lamb's son Jackson was found guilty on two counts of cruelty to animals.

In 2003, prosecutors asked the judge not to give the horses back to their owner, but she did anyway.
Prosecutors argued that putting them back in Jackson Lamb's hand would have been placing them in danger. A judge ordered them returned immediately.

"We had nursed them back to health and they looked great when they left here. When we and the vet picked them up last week. It was terrible...skin covering bones,” says Mullikin.

Jackie Lamb refused to make a comment to LEX 18.

LEX18

Saturday, March 14, 2015

FAYETTE COUNTY, KY MARCH 2015

Lexington woman faces charges after horse found dead on farm
Updated: Fri 11:22 PM, Mar 13, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT)
When animal control officers arrived Wednesday at Lee McKinney's farm on Parkers Mill Road for a complaint, it was not their first time there.

What officers found there now leaves McKinney facing animal neglect charges - again.
"That's why we're here. That's our job," said Officer Timothy Brown with Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control. "We're here to be the voice for the animals that can't have that voice for them."
Animal control officers found a horse that had died, and several others that were malnourished, Brown said.
 
Brown said McKinney now faces charges for not providing "proper care" for her animals, in violation of the city's ordinance pertaining to the treatment of animals.
According to Brown - and those who know McKinney - this is not the first time she has faced these charges.

"We don't know if she has the proper means to take care of the animals, or if it's just neglect on her part for the animals," Brown said.

The matter is still under further investigation, Brown said. McKinney could face up to a $500 fine or a year in prison for each charge.

Regardless, Brown says this case serves as a reminder that if you are having trouble taking care of your animals, give them a call.

"There's plenty of ways we can go about trying to help the community in a particular situation," he said. "But even if not that, try your hardest to take care of your animals. If you know that you're going to get them, be sure that you can take care of them."

WKYT

Friday, February 27, 2015

HARRISON COUNTY, KY FEBRUARY 2015

Harrison Co. Horses Seized In Animal Neglect Investigation
Feb 26, 2015 6:16 PM EST
                                               


An animal neglect investigation is underway after neighbors called authorities when four Harrison County horses wandered outside their fence.

When investigators made their way to the farm, they ended up seizing every animal on the property. Officers say the other animals on the Hendricks Lane farm were living with no shelter food or water. Two of the horses required immediate medical attention due to malnourishment.

The owner, who asked that her name be withheld, said the entire incident was a misunderstanding. She says that the icy weather made it difficult to get to her animals but she was still caring for them.
"These horses are my children I do have a child in college, but these animals are just my children,” says the owner.

The owner tells LEX 18 that she was on her way to bring the animals food and water when she wrecked her truck.

With video:
LEX18