Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HARLAN COUNTY, KY December 2008

Horses Found Neglected, Owners Arrested

Reporter: Jeff AllenEmail Address:

Horses Found Neglected, Owners Arrested

Several horses are found neglected, others missing, and one even dead. It is a case of animal abuse in Harlan County that landed two people behind bars and several others are facing charges.

Members of the Harlan County Humane Society say they received a complaint on Christmas night that some horses in the Wallins Creek community were neglected. When they went to the property, they say they knew that had to take action.

The horses were living on a property on Camp Creek Road, but officials say it wasn't much of a home. "There was no hay, anything for these horses. They were in a small area and just fenced off. The only thing they did have was water. No shelter for any of these animals," said Marcella Chadwick, Harlan County Humane Society President.

"It's unbelievable, to see something like this, to see people let their animals starve like this," said Robert Duncan with the Harlan County Humane Society.

Humane society officials made a gruesome discovery when they found one horse already dead.
"It was laying out in the open in a culvert. They had laid some pine limbs over it, I guess to keep us from seeing it," Chadwick said.

On Monday, police arrested the animals' owners, Edwin and Diane Sullivan. They are the first arrests from a investigation by a humane society that's ramping up it's efforts.

"We're gonna do what we can do to make people pay for treating their animals this way," Chadwick said.

Three horses are missing, but officials believe they will be able to nurse most of the horses back to health. One of the five rescued may not survive.

"He was close to gone when we took him. I don't know if he's gonna pull through this or not. We're hoping and praying," Chadwick said.

Edwin and Diane Sullivan were arraigned on animal cruelty charges Tuesday but declined our request for an interview. Officials plan to charge several other people in the case.

Officials at the Harlan County Humane Society say they are in desperate need of food for the rescued horses.
To donate feed to the horses officials say were neglected in Harlan County, get in contact with the Home Federal Bank in Harlan. If you have information in the case, call Harlan County Humane Society President Marcella Chadwick at (606) 909-4781.



Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Horse Abuse Discovered in Edmonson County

Posted: 7:14 PM Sep 23, 2008

Reporter: Daniel KempEmail Address:

Kentucky is known as horse country.

It's the home of the Kentucky Derby, where some of the most beautiful horses in the world race every year.

But some say horse abuse in the state is becoming more common everyday.

One Caneyville woman says many horse owners simply don't want their animals anymore, and now they're going mistreated.

And she should know, she's caring for one.

Keila Edwards got a call a little more than a month ago about a horse named Copy, who she rescued after learning he had been neglected and abused by his owner in Edmonson County.

"He was a horse standing there with four bullet holes in his neck, skin stretched over his neck, and she said, 'You can't leave him, you've got to help him,'" Edwards explained. "This isn't her first rescue.

Edwards has done it with three horses before.
"I can't see them suffer or be mistreated, or being done this way."

But she says Copy's case is a crime that isn't getting justice.
"I've sent photos and contacted the sheriff's office, but no one's ever called me back and until this day no one's called me back," Edwards said.

One veterinarian says horse abuse is a problem that just keeps growing, especially in rural areas.
"Some of them and a lot of of them are young horses that people bought because they wanted to have a horse, but don't know what to do with it," explained Manuela Mattingly, owner of Twin Lakes Animal Hospital in Leitchfield.

"They can't afford to feed them because hay and fertilizer has went up," Edwards added. "Proper hay is $40 to $50 a roll and the horses aren't worth anything, so people think, 'Why should I feed this when I could be feeding cattle?'"

Edwards says Copy's life didn't start like this.
He's a Saddlebred that's taken awards.
"This horse used to be in a show ring. He's got saddlepoints. I was told an eight-year-old girl used to show him," Edwards said.

Now, Copy's just trying to regain strength to maybe one day return to his old self.
"The infection's going down. He's getting his energy back. He's actually feeling like a horse again."

Sheriff Mike Vincent, with the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, says the investigation regarding the previous owner of Copy, has been turned over to the Kentucky State Police.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Thoroughbred Trainer Pleads Guilty to Cruelty Charges
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 9/12/2008 2:39:01 PM
Last Updated: 9/13/2008 3:10:10 PM

A Kentucky-based trainer has pleaded guilty to 16 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals charges resulting from an October 2007 incident in Nelson County, Ky.

Joseph D. “J.D.” Crescini, who signed the guilty plea Sept. 9, faces a recommended sentence of one year in jail, with 11 months suspended, and court costs. His sentencing in Nelson County District Court is scheduled for Oct. 21.

The charges stemmed from an Oct. 12, 2007 investigation by Nelson County Animal Control and local law authorities, who claim they found two dead horses and 12 “severely” undernourished horses – most believed to be Thoroughbreds -- at a property on Plum Run Road.
Crescini claimed to own the horses, according to a Nelson County Sheriff Department report, but denied they were neglected.

The report claims Crescini told deputies Thoroughbreds are “supposed to be skinny,” and that they “used to be on steroids, and now that they aren’t, they are withering away.”

When contacted by telephone Sept. 12, Crescini declined comment to The Blood-Horse.

Attempts to reach county attorneys affiliated with the case weren’t immediately successful.

Of the two horses found dead, one was found in a stall, and another outside the stall. The sheriff’s report said both appeared “to have been there awhile, and the second one had lime put on it.”

It is believed Crescini has been training in and around the Midwest since the early 1970s. Since 1980, Crescini is credited with 29 wins in 293 career starts, including one win in 18 starts in 2008, according to

On October 3rd, 2008 the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission ruled a two year suspension of J.D. Crescini's trainer's license.
On October 8th, 2008 J.D. Crescini appealed the decision.


Friday, September 12, 2008


Neglected Dogs, Horses Found At Eastern Kentucky Home

Posted: 3:43 PM Sep 11, 2008

Neglected Animals Found At Home

They call it one of the worse cases of animal cruelty they've ever seen.

Animal control officials found several dogs and horses, some dead, others barely alive, outside a home.

The two people who live there now face several charges.
The gruesome discovery was made earlier this week at a home in the Jarvis community of Knox County.

While officials found several animals who were starving, they also found several dogs and horses who had already died.

The animals' remains were scattered throughout the property.

Many of the surviving animals had been tied up and were not able to get away.
24-year-old Earl Enlow and 22-year-old Melanie Rogers together face a total of 17 charges of animal cruelty.

Both have since bonded out of jail and have pleaded not guilty.
The animals taken from the property are now in the care of the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter.



Wednesday, September 10, 2008



Starving Horses in Lincoln Co. on Road to Recovery

Posted: 4:49 PM Apr 7,

They were found barely alive on a Lincoln County farm.
But two weeks later, some once starving horses are doing much better.

Their owner said he couldn't feed them because he didn't have enough hay or money.

The horses have found new homes, and are well on the road to recovery.

It was a sad sight on a thoroughbred farm in Lincoln County two weeks ago.

There were 70 horses on one farm and officials say 12 of them were starving.

The owner blamed the drought leaving him without hay and lack of resources.

He agreed to give the horses up instead of facing charges.

Last month they could barley stand. But after some donations of feed and hay, these thoroughbreds returned to their natural element.

"They were just running for the joy of running," said Cathy Mitchum, with the Lincoln Co. Humane Society.

"They're racing horses and that's just what they do. It was so wonderful to see that."

Many of the problems can't be blamed just on the weather.

But now people are donating both money and feed to nurse these horses back to health.

"They have a long way to go," said Mitchum. "It will be six months at least just to get these horses back to health and several months after that to get back to their real selves."

One horse had to be put down.

Some are still gimpy and others are suffering from rain rot, similar to mange on a dog.
But with plenty of food and medicine, all are expected to fully recover.


Sunday, July 27, 2008


The Grant County AC received calls on eight starving horses in their jurisdiction.

The owner of these horses is well known from prior animal abuse charges involving cats and dogs.

She does not live on the property, and according to neighbors, her nephew has been left in charge of feeding the horses. He has only been seen coming around a couple of times a week, but apparently does not feed the horses properly.

Upon inspection of the horses and property, no water was accessable to the horses, and the only food source found, was stale old straw. It appears that the horses are suffering from a major worm infestation, indicated by their huge bellies.

The County attorney was called immediately, and he has been trying to contact the owner via phone, to no avail.

In the meantime, Speak Up For Horses has filled all empty water troughs and provided some good quality hay to be given to these animals several times a day.

Since the offender has a prior misdemeanor charge relating to animal abuse, this incident could be prosecuted as a felony.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Horse neglect - four found dead
Cutshin, KY (US)

Incident Date: Friday, Feb 29, 2008
County: Leslie
Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted
Defendant/Suspect: David Miniard

Leslie County officials said Friday that they found several badly undernourished horses and at least four dead horses on a farm in the Cutshin area.

Sheriff Paul Howard said Friday afternoon that his office was seeking an arrest warrant against the property owner, whom he identified as David Miniard, a coal miner.

The charges will involve animal cruelty and neglect, Howard said.He said authorities went to the site after receiving several complaint calls and found "seven or eight" horses that were badly undernourished.

He said they also found the decomposed bodies of four horses that had died on the property.Howard said the horses were in an area where all the grass essentially had been eaten away.

"The horses were fenced in and had no place to go," he said. "Some of them had actually jumped over the fence trying to get to other food. They just didn't have any grass at all to survive on."

Case Updates:

A Leslie County man won't serve any jail time after several horses were found dead or in bad shape on his farm. Court officials say David Miniard pleaded guilty to four counts of second degree cruelty to animals.Police say Miniard neglected close to a dozen horses in the Cutshin area. Four of them died. He received two years probation, a one thousand dollar fine, and must perform two hundred hours of community service.

WKYT - April 25, 2008

WKYT - March 30, 2008

WKYT - March 6, 2008



Horses found in poor condition
Lexington, KY (US)

Incident Date: Saturday, Mar 1, 2008
County: Marion
Disposition: Not Charged
Person of Interest: Ed Lanham

Marion County's UK-Agriculture Extension agent is facing allegations that several horses in poor condition were found on his farm.

Responding to a complaint from the Department of Agriculture, animal control and other authorities arrived to investigate the allegations Friday. Authorities say the horses belong to Ed Lanham, the county's UK-Ag Extension agent. A veterinarian checked the animals out and said that nine of the horses in question are in poor condition and five of the nine have him very concerned.

The sheriff says Lanham blamed the conditions on the wet winter.Authorities did find one dead horse, but they believe it died from natural causes.

They say they don't plan on filing any charges, but will make sure the horses are put on a strict diet and a worm treatment. Aside from the horses, authorities say the rest of the animals on the farm appear to be healthy.

Officials with UK's College of Agriculture say they're aware of the allegations against Lanham, but don't want to comment until they learn more about the situation.


Lex18 News - March 21, 2008



Horse neglect - 6 seizedPaducah, KY (US)

Incident Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2008
County: McCracken
Disposition: AllegedCase
Alleged: Linda Kingston

Six horses are now in the care of a veterinarian after McCracken County Animal Control officers found them in what one officer called “appalling condition.

”Officers took the malnourished horses from a property on Mayfield-Metropolis Road in McCracken County after receiving an anonymous call.

They charged Linda Kingston with six counts of inhumane treatment.Officers say a veterinarian found signs of mistreatment. Jeff Brown of McCracken County Animal Control says one horse was so malnourished it wasn't able to get up.

"They're all older horses. We've got a couple that are in their upper 20's and we've got some that are only 5 and 6 years old,” said Brown.The horses were taken to a holding center where a vet will treat them and give them the food and water they need.

Case Updates

Authorities in Paducah said a necropsy will be performed on the body of a horse that died after being seized with five others from a McCracken County woman's property.

County animal control officer Jeff Brown said the most seriously malnourished of the horses had been showing signs of improvement, but worsened Saturday night and was euthanized.

Authorities charged Linda Kingston with inhumane treatment of animals.Brown said Kingston blamed the lack of nutrition on poor quality hay.He said the other five horses were showing signs of improvement.

The animals were seized Wednesday after a veterinarian examined them and said they were malnourished.
Seizure Gone Wrong Update (07/24/08):
McCracken County Attorney Dan Boaz is launching an investigation into what happened to five apparently malnourished horses seized from their owner in May.

Jeff Beach and Donna Collier of Reidland, who cared for the horses for 45 days after their seizure, have raised questions about whether they are being looked after as agreed in a court order signed July 2 or whether they were auctioned.

Judge Tony Kitchen's order gave custody of the horses to Jody Dick of Marshall County on July 2. "It is my understanding that court order did not transfer ownership, and that Mr. Dick was supposed to retain custody until the matter was resolved," Boaz said.

Boaz said he planned to go to the McCracken County Sheriff's Department this morning and ask for an investigation into what happened to the horses.

McCracken County Animal Control seized six of Linda Kingston's horses May 28 from her home o n Mayfield-Metropolis Road. One was later euthanized after it was unable to stand.

Kingston filed a motion through her attorney, Will Kautz, asking a judge to grant custody of the horses to Dick because she feared she could not pay the county's cost for caring for them until her court case is resolved. Her case is scheduled for a hearing this morning in McCracken District Court.

Although the motion says that Dick had agreed to take both possession and ownership of the horses, the court order signed by Kitchen, Kautz and Assistant County Attorney Sam Clymer makes no ention of ownership, only custody.

In a letter to the court, Dick said he would keep the horses at his parents' 55-acre farm near Benton. The farm is mostly pasture and includes a pond for drinking water, he said.

Jody Dick's mother, Sandra Dick, 70, said she has never talked to her son about keeping any horses on the farm.

"I know no thing about this," she said. "You'll have to talk to my son, who is 42 years old and who doesn't live here. ... The horses have never been here, and I don't know what they're talking about."

Jody Dick did not return phone a reporter's phone calls Wednesday night. He also did not return calls from McCracken County Animal Control Officer Jeff Brown, Brown said.

Brown said he had previously spoken to Jody Dick's wife, Kristi Dick, and that she told him they had found homes for seven of Kingston's horses that were not seized and planned to look for homes for the other five.

"At no point did we ever think they were going to take them to an auction and auction them off," Brown said. "We were under the assumption they were going to go to a 55-acre farm in Marshall County. Animal control went out and looked at it, and it had a nice pasture and large pond."

Beach said he began suspecting the horses were not being taken to the Marshall County farm after a phone call from veterinarian Rhonda Caudill, who was treating the horses. Kristi Dick had come to the clinic and demanded copies of the horses' health papers, she told him. Kristi Dick had listed on paperwork that the horses were being taken to the Marshall County farm.

"They were in such an uproar about getting those papers, and they didn't need them if they were going to take them somewhere in Kentucky," Beach said. "That threw up a red flag."

Beach and Collier continued to care for the horses until July 18, 16 days after Kitchen signed the order. That day, a man came to Beach's home to claim the horses. Beach recognized him as a horse trader he has seen at several auctions.

When talking to a friend that evening, Beach learned an auction was taking place that night at Southern Illinois Equine Sale in Goreville, Ill.

"It was too late for us to get there and try to do anything," Beach said.

Chris Ray, owner of the livestock auction, said late Wednesday he recalled selling the horses but could not recall to whom. That is not uncommon since he auctions 120 or more horses at a time, he said. Ray said he was sure he had a record of the sales in his computer, but declined to provide it to a reporter.

The auction does not require proof of ownership.
"If you've got the Coggins test and the health papers, that's showing to me they're the owner," he said. "That's the only proof we've got to have."
Update 07/25/08:
The horses have been found. The detective on the case found them in IL and they are on their way back.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Kingston Enters Alford Plea In Starving Horses Case

PADUCAH, KY - The Paducah woman, whose starving horses were taken from her in May, entered an Alford plea Tuesday in McCracken District Court. Officials say there was enough evidence against Linda Kingston to go to trial, but she is not admitting guilt.
The judge ruled that Kingston will have to spend 60 days incarcerated at home, pay the county almost $7 thousand in restitution, sign over ownership of the remaining horses and not own any more horses. She will also be on probation for 2 years.
Back on May 8th, Kingston's horses were seized by county animal control officers at her Mayfield-Metropolis road home after they received reports of the horses being underfed. They were taken to Stonecreek Stables, where one of the starving horses died.


Case ID: 13981
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse

Horse found neglected, unable to standFloyd County, KY (US)

Incident Date: Friday, Jun 27, 2008
County: Floyd
Disposition: Not Charged
Abuser names unreleased

Animal shelter officials are trying to nurse an Eastern Kentucky horse back to health after they say they found it in such bad shape, it couldn't even stand on all four feet.

Floyd County Animal Shelter Director Kathy Mullins says when she rescued the Tennessee Walker bred horse, she was covered in gnats and flies and unable to do anything about it because of a deep gash on her back right leg.

Mullins says she got an anonymous tip that a horse was struggling to stay alive and stand on all fours."I immediately got in my vehicle and drove out to see if I could see the horse. The horse of emaciated standing on three feet," Mullins said.Armed with a seizure warrant to temporarily take custody of the horse, Mullins transported the Tennessee Walker bred horse to an undisclosed location.

"Our first priority was getting that horse into some emergency medical treatment. Without it, it would not have made it," Mullins said.The horse is doing better now, but Mullins says the horse, known as "Sweat Pea" by her rescuers, has a long road to recovery.Mullins says the cut on the back leg makes it impossible for "Sweat Pea" to move around or even stand and had a sore on her eye.Since the sore is near such a sensitive place, Mullins says all she can do is keep the area clean until it heals on it's own. The horse's hooves were also damaged.

For Mullins, the whole ordeal has taken a toll."If the animal is actually suffering like this one is, don't stop until you get something. Just don't stop and look over it," Mullins said.Mullins says the entire community working together is the only way to stop something like this from happening.

Officials say the investigation remains open and there are no charges or arrests at this time.


WKYT - June 29, 2008


Thursday, July 10, 2008


Plea deal accepted in horse neglect case

January 25, 2008

It was with a sense of resignation and frustration that a Gibson County judge accepted a plea deal in the case of a man accused of neglecting at least 50 horses on his property.
Gibson County Superior Court Judge Earl G. Penrod's ruling Thursday means that 66-year-old Richard Stallings will spend 12 months on probation, with 120 of those days to be served on home detention.

Stallings will not be allowed to have contact with animals during his sentence.
He told Penrod that he has already moved from a property where he was staying into an Evansville home to comply with that condition.

The two-hour sentencing hearing took place in a courtroom where almost every seat was filled.
Many in attendance said they have volunteered on Stallings' former property, which has been transformed into a permanent horse rescue and rehabilitation site, owned by Indiana Horse Rescue.

When Stallings was charged in May, his property became the site of what activists call the state's largest horse seizure. The case has led many to lobby legislators for tougher laws and penalties for such neglect cases.

'Based on reformation'

"I did mention to prosecutors that this seemed lenient to see no jail time in a case with so many counts, but I remind every one here what this is all about," Penrod said. "Our system is based on reformation, not vindictive justice."

Before announcing his ruling, Penrod spent more than 10 minutes explaining the inner workings of the justice system, the role of a judge and the thought process that ultimately led him to conclude the plea agreement was the best possible outcome.

Onlookers in the courtroom showed no reaction to Penrod's ruling.

Saying his office has received a lot of public feedback about the case, Gibson County Prosecutor Robert Krieg explained why he offered the plea agreement.

Krieg said he was willing to enter all of the convictions as misdemeanors because in the seven or eight most extreme cases originally charged as Class D felonies, the charges would have been hard to prove.

"I have heard rumors that Mr. Stallings beat an animal at least one time but I have no proof, and I cannot prosecute based on a rumor," he said.

Krieg also said many people have asked he restrict Stallings from ever having horses again, but that is impossible.

"I have no authority whatsoever to do that under the law," he said. "Certainly if I could I might have, but my hands are tied."

Defense attorney Michael Cochren asked Penrod to consider that Stallings had no prior record, has endured the public's anger, forfeited ownership of his property and pleaded guilty in the case.

Stallings said little during the hearing. It took Penrod nearly 20 minutes to read through every count, to which Stallings admitted his guilt each time by whispering "Yes sir."

Anthony Caldwell, president of the Animal Protection Coalition and Indiana Horse Rescue, testified during the hearing.

He said the case has drawn attention to the need for tougher legislation and drew public awareness far beyond the county.

"A substantial amount of people voiced their frustration over the plea agreement," he said.
"I fear that has overshadowed the good achieved in this case, and think their frustrations should be directed at state laws."

Calling the case the "perfect example of a case where nothing can be done to make everyone happy," Penrod said he hopes Stallings will be rehabilitated, and that others might learn from him.

"I hope that others are deterred by the light that has focused on this case," he said. "Animal neglect is not only a social issue, it is criminal."



Horses Found In Horrible Conditions

March 26, 2008

Animal control officers continued to remove horses Thursday from a farm in rural Jessamine County where 70 horses were found Wednesday. Officers say the horses were all starving and neglected.

Some of the horses were removed Wednesday, the rest were taken from the scene Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday officials said, on a scale of one to ten with one being the worst, most of the horses would rank a 1.5. The owner faces 70 counts of animal cruelty and is expected in court next month. Authorities say two other people could also be charged in the case.

Animal Abuse Case Under Review:

Posted: 4:47 PM Jul 29, 2008
Last Updated: 4:47 PM Jul 29, 2008

A Jessamine County couple, charged with starving dozens of horses, had their case go back in front of a judge on Tuesday.

The judge reviewed the case of Sharon and Argo Clagett. Neither was present at the time, and no ruling was made public.

The couple is accused of abusing more than 70 horses on their farm.

The Claggets still have 25 horses they are allowed to keep but are subject to random checks by animal control officers.


7 Horses Found Dead In Clark County Farm, Others Barely Alive

April 18th, 2008

Authorities say 13 horses were barely alive and seven others were found dead on a farm on Irvine Road, in Clark County.

The county attorney has charged the owner with 20 counts of cruelty to animals. The owner of the farm, Linville Davis, says he's shocked by the allegations and says his horses were always fed.

Davis says he doesn't know what killed the horses that were found dead on the property.

Davis will be arraigned on the charges Monday. Authorities tells us the horses were taken to a local veterinarian.


Five Dead Horses Found On Farm
April 16th, 2008

Police in Rockcastle County are investigating after five dead horses and 21 other horses in poor condition were discovered on a farm Tuesday.

State police say the discovery was made after they investigated a complaint they received about the farm, located on Robison Cemetery Road. Police say the owner of the farm, Jerry Campbell, 54, of London has been charged with 21 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals.


MOREHEAD — Rowan County Sheriff Jack Carter said Wednesday he was still shaken by the scene he encountered the previous day at a horse farm off Ky. 32 east of Morehead.
It was on that farm authorities found the bodies of 31 horses, along with a number of other horses that were still alive but in emaciated condition.

“It was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen,” said Carter, one of the longest-serving sheriffs in Kentucky.“There were buzzards circling the area.”Eleven of the dead horses were in the barn, and 20 more were found in the pasture of the farm, on Kegley Ridge Road, which overlooks Laurel Gorge.

The bodies were in various states of decomposition, Carter said.The animals had chewed holes in the walls of the barn, the sheriff said. The stench, he said, was overwhelming.“I couldn’t stand it,” he said.“I had to come out.”The odor of decomposition still hung heavily in the air near the farm on Wednesday as workers used a bulldozer to dig two mass graves in which to bury the dead horses. Vultures continued to circle the property.

Carter said a number of live horses were found in the barn and in the pasture. Many of the animals were rack-thin and in pitiful shape, he said.“We had eight or 10 that we thought were going to be dead before the end of the day,” he said.

The owner of the farm, Don Miller, told investigators he had been unable to care for his animals because he was critically ill, Carter said.Miller was able to produce receipts showing where he had been spending about $300 a week on feed for his horses, and investigators found grain in the barn, Carter said.

The feed obviously wasn’t getting to the animals, he said.“It was just a case of neglect,” Carter said.“Complete and total.”Under Kentucky law, the worst a person accused of animal neglect can be charged with is a misdemeanor, Carter said.

On Tuesday, the state Department of Agriculture charged the owner, Don Miller, with violating state law regarding the disposition of animal carcasses. The charges carry a fine of up to $500 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses are punishable by fines of $500 to $1,000, up to 30 days in jail, or both.More charges are likely to be filed, investigators said.

"There will be a lot of (charges) in this case,” Carter said, adding that a criminal complaint was filed on Wednesday with the Rowan County Attorney’s Office.

The investigation that led to the discovery of the dead and dying animals was prompted by complaints from the Lewis County chapter of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.Eugene Kinney of the SPCA said Wednesday several people approached him about horses possibly being mistreated on the Miller farm, which prompted him to conduct his own investigation.He said Miller let him on his property voluntarily and allowed him to look around.

Kinney said he reported his findings to the sheriff’s department and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health.He confirmed there was feed in the barn. However, Kinney said he saw nothing to indicate the animals had any type of water supply.

Kinney said the living horses had been placed in his care. A veterinarian was brought in to examine the animals, he said.A neighbor of Miller’s, Della Reynolds, told the Lexington Herald-Leader she didn’t notice anything amiss on Miller’s farm until she learned about the investigation from news reports.

Reynolds, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, also told the Herald-Leader Miller had been in poor health since suffering a heart attack a year and a half ago. She also said Miller had raised horses for years and she did not believe he had intentionally neglected his animals.

Case Update:

Police say the owner of an eastern Kentucky farm, his teenage son and a hired hand have been charged in connection with horses found dead and malnourished.The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the three are charged with 21 counts each of misdemeanor animal cruelty in connection with 11 dead horses and 10 in poor health that were found at the Rowan County farm.Authorities have been told that farm owner Don Miller had been critically ill for at least the past year. Detective Gary Lanham of the Rowan County Sheriff's Department says Miller's son was directed to take care of the horses, and Bryan Simpson would take care of them one or two days a week. The son's name hasn't been released because he is a juvenile.An attorney could not be located for Miller or Simpson.Lanham says that according to statements, the teen and Simpson knew of the horses' bad condition, but did not tell Miller.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Hapsirishpub is a Thoroughbred whose good fortune changed the day his first owner died. Passed from owner to owner, he was recently taken in by Shelly Price of Speak Up for Horses, a Kentucky-based equine rescue and rehabilitation organization.

The namesake of his owner/breeder's favorite Cincinnati watering hole, "Haps" accumulated over $16,000 in earnings on the track. Haps' owner's son took over the racing stable after his father's death and, according to the horse's first trainer Ramon Salcedo, pushed Haps to be even more profitable. The push didn't bring the desired results, so Haps was retired.

The gelding's new home turned out to be an old hog barn that was still filled with manure and equipment. Alone in the dark, he received limited care and feed. Haps received no farrier or veterinary care, and he went months without hay, Price explained. He lost nearly 400 pounds, and his feet had grown so long they were beginning to curl up in front.

Haps' new owner died in early 2008. His fiancee tried to find Haps a new home. That's when he caught the attention of Speak Up For Horses, who rescued Haps in March.
View a video clip here:


The Kentucky State Police in Dry Ridge have arrested two persons as a result of an investigation into alleged animal cruelty in Harrison County.

Haskell Risner, 51 and Dinah Risner, 49, both of 3281 Oddville-Sunrise Road, Cynthiana were arrested and charged with eight counts each of Cruelty to Animals 2nd degree pursuant to a Harrison County arrest warrant. They were lodged in the Bourbon County Jail on and later released on $250 bond each.

Acting on information submitted by a group of concerned citizens, the State Police began investigation into the health and well-being of 34 horses owned by the Risners on property in rural Harrison County. In addition, approximately 16 carcasses were discovered on their property by the time state police finally executed a search warrant in early November 2007.

County Attorney Charles W. (Bill) Kuster would only authorize an "on-site" seizure--meaning that the suffering horses were left in the defendants’ care after their arrest and release, after which an additional horse died due to an untreated parasitic infestation.

Kentucky law states that Cruelty to Animals 2nd degree is applicable when a person intentionally or wantonly subjects an animal to cruel or injurious mistreatment through a variety of means to include failing to provide adequate food, drink, or health care.

Class A misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

However, after many of the horses were purchased by SpeakUpForHorses in order to remove them from the neglectfull owners, Haskell and Dinah Risner were only given a slap-on-the-wrist plea agreement.

Above Palomino dead: