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Monday, May 26, 2003County: Lafayette
Abuser names unreleased
Fourteen possible animal cruelty charges against a Town of Wayne woman are being considered after the death of a 3-month-old foal last month, authorities said Monday.
Capt. Dale Schmidt of the Washington County Sheriff's Department said the 35-year-old woman had purchased the foal a short time before a family member lodged an animal cruelty complaint on May 26.
"She took it to care for it, but the foal died," he said, adding that deputies had the foal removed from the yard at the woman's home on May 26.
The foal died two days later, according to reports. Deputies searched the farm and found 14 horses, two donkeys, one goat, three dogs, four ducks and seven cats.
The department recommended a single count of mistreating animals in regard to the foal's death and 13 counts of failure to provide proper food to confined animals for 11 horses and two dogs at the farm.
Sheriff's Lt. John Buck, the head of the detective bureau, said the Sheriff's Department was called to the woman's home six times in the last year over concerns about the care of animals.
According to Sheriff's Department reports:
The woman's brother called authorities May 26 after he visited her home and took away a pig that looked malnourished. Deputies went to the woman's home and asked her son for permission to look around.
They found the foal on its side, apparently not breathing. Deputies worked on the foal and eventually heard the animal struggling to breathe.
The foal was confiscated and turned over to a horse rescue group, which paid for treatment.
Five dead ducks were found on the farm, and the dogs were in cages without food and water.
A veterinarian who visited the farm said all the animals were malnourished, and the vet was concerned the dogs would not survive if they were not given fresh water and food.
The veterinarian also said that several of the horses were dirty and needed to be in grazing areas rather than confined to stalls with up to 3 inches of manure.
A doctor who performed a necropsy on the foal told investigators there was no fat around the heart or the kidneys, indicating the animal had not been properly fed, according to the Sheriff's Department.
"These areas normally will be the organs that will last lose any body fat," the veterinarian's report says. Charges are expected to be filed later this week, authorities said.
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