Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Horse caretaker, owners arrested for neglect for second time


For the second time in two years, a horse caretaker in Hopkins County, and the horses owners are being charged with animal cruelty.  

Caretaker Kathleen Dickson and owners Rob and Bonnie Ryder were charged back in August 2011 after 13 horses were seized from a ranch on Randall Road in Madisonville.

On that same property, Dickson was taken away by authorities again on Friday.

Police and Hopkins County Animal Control Officers have seized four horses from a home in Hopkins County. This is the same home where 13 horses were seized in 2011.

Officials arrived at 11 a.m., assessed the scene, unlatched the privacy gate, and took control of horses.  They say they're in poor condition and getting worse.

Kathleen Dickson, the caretaker and owner of two of the horses, was home when officials arrived on Friday. Dickson stepped aside as professional seized the horses and Dickson was arrested.

"As a prosecutor and a board member for the Hopkins County Humane Society, I take animal cruelty cases very seriously," says Karey Ray Deardorff.

Dickson, along with owners Rob and Bonnie Ryder, will each face one count of second degree cruelty to animals.

"It makes me furious that these people just kept doing it" says Patricia Sadler "They've kept doing it and they feel like they're above the law, that they can keep doing it."

Officials say a vet had visited the residence and evaluated the horses on an 8-point scale: 1 being grave and 8 obese.

One of the horses scored a 2.5, and the rest scored a 3-4.

"We've had a vet come out do a professional assessment of body condition and it's unfortunate that some people would allow an animal to get in that type of shape," says Charles Gentry.

14 News will continue to keep you update on the condition of the horses as they travel to a new residence in Morton's Gap.


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