Case Snapshot
Case ID: 14901
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Thursday, Nov 20, 2008

County: Linn

Disposition: Alleged

» Richard Stevens
» Melissa Leeann Corliss

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A Linn County man was arrested on charges that he starved and neglected 35 horses, deputies said.

Deputies raided Richard Stevens' property early Thursday morning on Jones Road for the second time in three years on allegations of animal abuse.

The last time police were at the property, the owner had 17 horses in bad condition; Thursday he had nearly three dozen.

So Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller personally served the search warrant to send the message that animal abuse will not be tolerated.

Thursday was moving day for many of the horses at the Sweet Home property, and animal experts said it was necessary for every single one of them.

"In my opinion, none of these animals are being treated the way they deserve to be treated," said Scott Beckstead, with the U.S. Humane Society.

Beckstead was helping deputies assess the animals. He said the dogs had been eating deer carcasses, and the horses were obviously malnourished. They also had foot infections from constantly standing in thick mud.

"It's a combination of just pure callousness and not really caring about your animals," Beckstead said.

Linn County teamed up with state police and the BLM for the raid and they said Stevens had several neglected horses taken away from him three years ago but he got some of them back.

Officials said they think he illegally adopted four BLM mustangs from Nevada as well.

But Stevens said he's done nothing wrong. When Stevens was asked about the horses and told that they were emaciated he replied, "No they're not."

Mueller said Stevens' last case prompted them to form a livestock abuse investigation team and with what they found at his home he said Stevens will definitely be going to jail.

As long as animals are found in bad condition, Mueller said they will keep coming back.

"When you have livestock, you take care of your livestock or get rid of it. I tell you what, in Linn County, Oreg., if you don't, we're going to hold you accountable," Mueller said.

Case Updates

Linn County deputies arrested two people after an investigation yielded sufficient evidence that horses and dogs were being neglected at a home on Jones Road near Foster Reservoir. Six children were also placed in protective custody. Richard Reed Stevens, 62, was charged with 20 counts of second-degree animal neglect of horses and dogs and three counts of unauthorized taking of a game mammal.

Melissa Leeann Corliss, 34, was charged with seven counts of second-degree animal neglect involving dogs. The pair were scheduled to appear in court Dec. 17.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Crow said this week his office has received a great deal of additional information and will need to review all of it before filing the case. Crow anticipates it will be filed after the first of the year.
Source: Albany Democrat Herald - Dec 20, 2008
Update posted on Dec 22, 2008 - 12:07AM 


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