Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17331
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: dog (non pit-bull), horse, pig, cow, sheep, other farm animal, goat
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Prosecutor(s): Anne-Marie Kelso

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011

County: Payette

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

» Robert Fitch Wilson
» Herbert Warren Hultz
» Janene Denise Martin

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Authorities have seized nearly 100 emaciated and dehydrated animals, including two nearly dead horses, from a ranch west of Boise, Idaho, in a case that animal welfare workers described as one of the worst in their memory.

"Some of these animals are as bad as they can get, I'd say close to death," Patricia Vance, director of shelter operations with the Idaho Humane Society, said on Wednesday.

The hours-long rescue began on Tuesday after an initial investigation by sheriff's deputies in southwest Idaho and the state Department of Agriculture determined the condition of the animals was too dire to delay.

The seizure by the Idaho Humane Society included 30 horses, 20 goats, 18 sheep, 13 Llamas, 10 pigs, one dog and at least one cow.

Veterinarians were forced to kill a young horse and a young goat on the spot because of their extreme suffering.

"The horse was down and barely alive," said Vance. "One of the goat's legs had been eaten off and something had chewed off its hamstring on the other leg, so both back legs were destroyed. And those weren't brand-new injuries."

The collection of starving and dehydrated animals on a 30-acre ranch in Payette County, a sparsely populated area about 50 miles west of Boise, constituted one of the Idaho Humane Society's larger rescues in recent years and it stands out for the severe neglect the animals endured, officials said.

"We have some tough people on staff who have seen all kinds of things but this one left them shaken and upset," said Hannah Parpart, outreach coordinator for the Idaho Humane Society. "That tells you a lot about how bad things are."

A goat missing its foot and a cow suffering from a lung ailment were slated to be killed Wednesday and animal advocates said the fate of some of the sicker creatures will be decided hour by hour.

Idaho Humane Society officials said they hope to rehabilitate the animals that are not too far gone, including many of the horses. The animals ranged in age from a day-old goat to a 24-year-old horse.

Payette County Prosecutor Anne Marie Kelso said Wednesday she is awaiting investigative documents for review.

Sheriff's officers said animal cruelty charges would be filed as soon as they can identify who owned the livestock.

Animal cruelty and related crimes in Idaho are misdemeanors, with the maximum penalty per count six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Case Updates

In 2008, Clark County, Wash., animal control officials notified the Idaho State Department of Agriculture about a Washington man and woman charged with animal neglect who were moving to Middleton, according to a report by the ag department.

An investigator determined that Herbert (Warren) Hultz and Janene Martin had failed to obtain required health certificates or equine anemia testing for two dozen horses they transported. They were charged with misdemeanors for bringing the livestock without a health certificate. Hultz was fined $650; he has paid just $100. Debt collections failed, so the state is going after the money through income tax withholding, according to court records.

Martin was also fined $650. She failed to pay, and the case was sent to collections last year.

In January, Hultz and Martin made news in the Treasure Valley, when investigators seized 80 animals, including sheep, goats, llamas and pigs, from the ranch where they were living in Payette County. The condition of the animals, many emaciated and dehydrated, was described as deplorable. Four animals were euthanized; at least one later died.

Payette County Prosecutor Anne Marie Kelso did not respond to calls and an email seeking information on the case.

Martin was charged with seven counts of animal cruelty and five counts of permitting animals to go without care. In May, she pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and permitting animals to go without care, according to court records. She was sentenced to 360 days in jail (all but 10 days were suspended), fined $550 and put on supervised probation for 2 years. She also was ordered to pay restitution of $6,094.

Hultz was charged with six counts of animal cruelty and three counts of permitting animals to go without care.

A few days before a trial in July, Hultz pleaded guilty. He was scheduled to be sentenced in August, but the sentencing was postponed.

A third person living at the ranch, Robert Fitch Wilson, was charged with one count of permitting animals to go without care. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, all suspended, and fined $664.
Source: - Oct 2, 2011
Update posted on Oct 2, 2011 - 7:03PM 
Tuesday, the Payette County Prosecutor's Office filed charges against two individuals with 13 charges of cruelty to animals and three individuals with nine charges of permitting animals to go without care.

Prosecutor Anne-Marie Kelso has charged Janene Martin, 32, with seven counts of animal cruelty and five counts of permitting animals to go without care.

Herbert Hultz, 53, has been charged with six counts of animal cruelty and three counts of permitting animals to go without care. Robert Wilson, 54, has been charged with one count of permitting animals to go without care.

Arraignment for the three has been set for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 28.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Payette County Sheriff's Office when they seized 67 animals off of a rural Payette County farm, near New Plymouth.

The animals were rescued on Jan. 19, when deputies went onto the property at 4995 Elgin Road, to seize 27 horses, 15 sheep, 13 llamas, nine pigs, two cows and a dog from the premises.

The animals were malnourished and had not been fed for some time. There was not water on the property. Four of the animals, two goats, a colt and a heifer all needed to be put down by a veterinarian from the state of Idaho because of their condition.

Also, the county has filed a forfeiture of the animals. On Wednesday, the case was heard before Magistrate A. Lynne Krogh. Hultz and Martin agreed to the forfeiture of the animals, while Wilson did not appear, but had previously indicated he would voluntarily forfeit his animal as well.

Forfeiture of animals is permitted when animals are uncared for or treated cruelly. Forfeiture permits the state to immediately place the animals for adoption. Any questions regarding the condition of the animals need to be directed to Pat Vance with the Idaho Humane Department, (208) 331-8556.
Source: - Feb 17, 2011
Update posted on Feb 17, 2011 - 3:33PM 
Payette County officials released the names of three people charged with cruelty to dozens of animals rescued in New Plymouth this week.

They are Robert Fitch Wilson, 54, Herbert Warren Hultz, 55, and Janene Denise Martin, 32, all residents or former residents of New Plymouth.

The Idaho Humane Society continues to care for the majority of the seized animals. Four of the seized animals had to be euthanized due to their poor condition.

Tuesday the Idaho Humane Society partnered with the Payette County Sheriff's Office and the Idaho Department of Agriculture to rescue the dozens of neglected livestock animals and horses from the property.

According to Humane Society officials, the conditions of the property and many of the animals were deplorable. The animals were malnourished and there was poor quality hay on the property which was not accessible to any of the animals.

The Payette County Sheriff's Office will forward the case to the Payette County Prosecuting Attorney's Office for review of the charges.
Source: - Jan 21, 2011
Update posted on Jan 31, 2011 - 5:13PM 


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