Case Snapshot
Case ID: 14484
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Attorneys/Judges
Prosecutor(s): Patricio Jimenez
Defense(s): J. Timothy Embser


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Friday, Aug 29, 2008

County: Steuben

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 3 files available

Defendant/Suspect: Geraldine Trupia

Case Updates: 7 update(s) available

Authorities removed horses from a farm in Steuben County Friday following an animal cruelty complaint. The investigation is taking place at a horse farm in the Town of Troupsburg. SPCA officials are not releasing the name of the owner of the farm that's at the corner of County Route 82 and Olmstead Road.

SPCA investigator Scott Mazzo says there were up to 70 horses at the farm. He would not say how many were removed from the farm Friday. No charges have been filed yet as Mazzo expects the on-scene investigation to last another day or so.


Case Updates

Geraldine Trupia, the Troupsburg, N.Y., breeding farm owner who pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty for allegedly starving 82 horses in her care, was ordered to pay $45,000 to cover expenses for the horses seized by Finger Lakes Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) authorities last August. The payment was ordered during Trupia's sentencing Dec. 17.

The funds will be used to reimburse the SPCA for the rescue costs, veterinary services, and foster care expenses.

Trupia was originally charged with five misdemeanor animal cruelty counts after investigators removed the horses from her Norcrest/Middle Creek Farm. Five horses were euthanized, and another 77 have been in foster care.

Trupia pleaded guilty to the reduced charges under a plea agreement in October.

"We are very pleased with the restitution order," said SPCA Executive Director Vicki Mosgrove.
Source: The Horse Magazine - Dec 19, 2008
Update posted on Dec 19, 2008 - 9:29AM 
The woman who plead guilty to charges in connection with the largest animal cruelty case in Steuben County history says the SPCA is trying to take advantage of her.

Back in August, the Finger Lakes SPCA seized more than eighty emaciated horses from Geraldine Trupia's farm in Troupsburg. Now, the SPCA is asking a Troupsburg Town Judge to force Trupia to pay for their care.

After the hearing, Trupia told us fifty thousand dollars for six weeks of care is ridiculous.

"I think it's a joke. I think they just want to build a new barn and they want me to pay for it," says Geraldine Trupia. "I will be more than happy to show them. I have big fat horses showing being loaded and I will show them

"So you think they weren't skinny?" asks Katie Graham.

"No, they were not. There were some that were. The majority of them were not," says Geraldine Trupia

"Especially considering the care level these horses needed, for eighty debilitated horses. As the foster caretakers pointed out, it requires a different level of responsibility and care, and they want to be reimbursed for their time," says Vicki Mosgrove of the Finger Lakes SPCA

Trupia won't be sentenced until the judge makes a decision about this restitution issue next week.
Source: WETM - Dec 11, 2008
Update posted on Dec 11, 2008 - 9:56PM 
A Judge sentenced a Troupsburg woman on animal cruelty charges on Wednesday. Geraldine Trupia will serve three years probation for failing to provide adequate food, water and medical treatment for animals in her care. Trupia is also not allowed to work around domestic or companion animals.

The Finger Lakes SPA seized 85 horses and five cats from Trupia's farm in August. When humane officers arrives at Trupia's farm, one horse was dead and four more had to be euthanized.

The Judge set a hearing for next month to decide how much money Trupia will pay restitution.
Source: WENY - Nov 13, 2008
Update posted on Nov 13, 2008 - 8:59AM 
Trupia appeared in Troupsburg town court Wednesday morning to answer five charges of animal cruelty for failure to provide adequate food, water and medical treatment for the animals.

The charges were limited to five because state law prohibits jail terms of more than two years for related misdemeanor convictions.

"Miss Trupia pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor level animal cruelty pursuant to Section 353 of the Agriculture and Markets law," said Patricio Jimenez, Steuben County assistant district attorney. "That was in satisfaction of the five charges that have been at this point filed against her."

The Finger Lakes SPCA seized 85 horses and five cats from the Middle Creek/Norcrest farm in Troupsburg Aug. 29-30. The farm is operated by Gerry Trupia and owned by her mother, Mary Ann Blazejewski.

One horse was dead when the SPCA arrived at the farm, four more were euthanized on scene and one was euthanized in the following days. The other 79 horses are currently in foster care at various farms throughout the state. The cats are being cared for at the Finger Lakes SPCA in Bath.

Trupia will appear in court for sentencing at 9 a.m., Nov. 12. She is being represented by J. Timothy Embser of Wellsville.

If sentenced, as a condition of the plea bargain, Trupia will have two probation supervision terms of three years to run concurrently, and she cannot be employed near domestic or companion animals. She also will have to have a mental health evaluation and comply with the recommended treatment.

Trupia also will have to give Animal Cruelty Inv. Scott Mazzo access to her house during normal business hours no more than twice a month. Mazzo also will be allowed to visit the property any time with the probation officer. Trupia will be expected to pay restitution.

"If at any time during the term of probation supervision there is a violation," Jimenez said, "and the probation department reports that to the court and to my office, that would allow the judge to, if he finds that the defendant did in fact violate the agreement, the court can resentence the defendant."

Each charge is punishable by up to one year in jail.

As a condition of her plea, Trupia also tearfully gave up ownership rights to her animals that were seized by the SPCA. Those animals will be adopted out. Upon proof of ownership, horses owned by third parties will be returned to their owners.

"Certain things can happen between now and the sentencing that would not bind the court to the agreed upon sentencing but allow them to deviate and perhaps impose some other sentence," Jimenez said. "Typically, a court can and will do that if a defendant doesn't show up for sentencing or if the defendant is re-arrested between the date of the plea and the date of the actual sentencing."

Jimenez would not comment on whether Blazejewski is facing any charges.

"At this point we consider it to be an open investigation," Jimenez said. "Generally, our policy is with any open investigation, we don't really comment."

As the investigation continues, other charges are possible against Trupia and others.

Eight of the horses removed from Trupia's farm were taken to the Alfred State College Pioneer Farm, where they are being nursed back to health under the direction of Vicki Bolton, department chair of the animal science program at ASC.

Many of the horses at the farm have gained 75-100 pounds since their arrival. The horses are going through a ton of hay a week.

Trupia declined comment Wednesday morning but said she will come forward with her side of the story once the case is settled.
Source: Evening Tribune - Oct 2, 2008
Update posted on Oct 2, 2008 - 10:48PM 
The Finger Lakes SPCA this week filed five animal cruelty misdemeanor charges against the operator of a Troupsburg horse breeding farm where the agency had seized 82 horses weeks ago, alleging they were suffering from sub-standard care.

Geraldine Trupia, operator of Middle Crest Farm, located at 4512 county Route 82 in Troupsburg, is to be arraigned Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. in Troupsburg town court. Patricio Jimenez, assistant district attorney for Steuben County, said the investigation continues and additional charges against Trupia are possible. Others also may be charged as a result of the investigation, Jimenez said.

The owner of the farm has been identified through county real property tax data as Maryann Blazejewski, and media reports have cited her as Trupia's mother. A phone call to the horse farm was not returned Wednesday.

Jimenez said the five misde- meanor charges are tied to the condition of four horses that had to be euthanized at the farm and the death of a fifth horse that already had expired by the time SPCA Animal Cruelty Officer Scott Mazza arrived on the premises Aug. 30 with a search warrant.

Mazzo Thursday told The Courier he found the dead horse lying on the ground. Two other horses were also down and were euthanized by a veterinarian summoned to the scene. Two other horses remained standing, but their condition was deemed so severe it was necessary to euthanize them in order to end their suffering.

"In essence," said Jimenez, "the charges stem from criminal neglect, primarily the failure to provide adequate food, water, medical treatment and other care. The neglect was so severe that one of the horses had died. The other four horses were so severely neglected (and) their physical condition had deteriorated so much that an onsite veterinarian had to euthanize them to prevent further suffering."

The seizure of the remaining animals was the largest horse seizure in the history of the Finger Lakes SPCA. The agency also seized five cats, who are now receiving recuperative care at its state Route 54 facility.

The 78 surviving horses Lawrence P. Crossett 449 have been stabled at horse farms in Steuben and other counties across New York, according SPCA.

Jimenez said the misdemeanor charges against Trupia are punishable by up to one year each. The charges were limited to five, because New York state law prohibits jail terms of more than two years for related misdemeanor convictions.

Mazzo characterized Middle Crest Farm as a horse breeding facility, where horse owners had sent their mares from across the country. "They didn't know what was happening to their horses," he said. "They're victims too."
Source: Steubenville Courier - Sept 20, 2008
Update posted on Sep 19, 2008 - 11:35PM 
A Town of Troupsburg woman has been arrested in the biggest animal cruelty case in Steuben County history.

Officials with the county district attorney's office said Geraldine Trupia was charged with five counts of animal cruelty. In late August the SPCA removed 82 horses from her mother's Troupsburg farm. One of the horses has since died.

The SPCA said the animals were in very poor physical condition and needed immediate medical care. Officials said Trupia was the one responsible for taking care of them.

If convicted she faces a maximum of two year in county jail.
Source: WETM - Sept 17, 2008
Update posted on Sep 17, 2008 - 7:58PM 
Animal control officers say it's the worst case of animal neglect they have ever seen. 82 horses were found on a farm in Steuben County. They were malnourished and in desperate need of medical care.

78 of the horses were taken into foster care and four had to be euthanized. Investigators with the Finger Lakes SPCA say the owner of this farm will likely face animal cruelty charges.

It took 35 volunteers and two days to remove all of the animals. Investigators say it was tough to see the animals in this condition. Investigator Scott Mazzo said, "All Ii can say is if you ever cut your finger, just think of them as the same way, they breathe, their heart beats, they feel pain it's no different than us."

The SPCA says they are in desperate need of donations to care for these animals. It could cost up to $20,000 this month alone

Click here to find out how you can help.
Source: WHEC - Sept 5, 2008
Update posted on Sep 6, 2008 - 11:00AM 

References

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