Case Snapshot
Case ID: 11300
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Saturday, Sep 30, 2006

County: Litchfield

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Moriah Hill

A Winsted woman arrested last fall for not feeding her horses will not have to serve any time in jail.

Moriah Hill, 23, of 13 Wallens St., pleaded guilty to one of the six counts of animal cruelty brought against her. According to a plea bargain, she was sentenced to serve 18 months of probation on April 18 in Bantam Superior Court. Judge Richard Marano suspended six months of jail time, according to the agreement.

Hill was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation, make a $200 donation to a local animal shelter, and possess no animals. Hill is allowed, however, to keep her dog, Assistant State's Attorney Cyndi Palermo said.

"She is to agree to periodic inspections by the animal control officers," Palermo said.

Hill was arrested in October following an investigation by Winsted and state animal control officers. Five horses, three adults and two foals, were seized by officers from the state Department of Agriculture on Sept. 28. Hill was accused of not properly feeding the animals that were kept on a six-acre parcel of land on Colebrook River Road.

A miniature horse named Dove was losing weight and had no fresh water. Officials noted the horse's stall was not maintained and there was no hay, according to an arrest warrant. A black horse was extremely emaciated with no fatty tissue observed and appeared dehydrated. A chestnut horse and two foals were thin and covered with flies. The horses had poor hoof care, according to the warrant.

"Because she immediately gave over ownership of the animals, I believe this is a fair resolution," Palermo said. "She will forever have a record from this case."

The horses have recuperated under the state's care at the barn at Gates Correctional Facility in East Lyme, according to Dr. Bruce Sherman. An auction is planned for Saturday to find new owners for the animals.

"There are some conditions to buying the animals at the auction," Sherman said. "They cannot be sold to the person who they were seized from or anyone previously convicted of animal cruelty."

Buyers must also agree not to sell the animals to slaughter, not to return them to their original owner and to properly care for the animals.


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