Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17414
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: dog (non pit-bull), horse, cow
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Wednesday, Jan 26, 2011

County: Buffalo

Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Timothy John Churchill

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A rural Ravenna man faces six felonies after emaciated and malnourished horses were removed from his property.

Timothy Churchill, 40, is charged in Buffalo County Court with six felonies of abandonment or cruel neglect of an animal and eight misdemeanor counts of the same offense. The charges involve nine horses, three bucket calves and two dogs that were confiscated from Churchill's home at 44745 220th Road.

Court records outline the case against Churchill:

On Nov. 29, the Buffalo County Sheriff's Office received a complaint that several of Churchill's horses were malnourished and not being properly fed or cared for. At the time, Churchill relinquished his rights to three horses and turned them over to the Epona Horse Rescue ranch southeast of Pleasanton.

However, several other animals and horses that weren't in such poor condition remained in Churchill's care.

Lin Beaune, Epona owner, said one of the confiscated horses that came to her ranch died three days later. The other two horses, a 4-year-old pony mix and a 4-year-old quarter horse, both have gained more than 100 pounds since being at the ranch.

"That's how horses stay warm is by eating. That's how they produce body heat, and if they can't eat, then they shiver and they lose weight," she said. "I've done nothing special besides give them free-choice hay and plenty of water."

On Jan. 26, a sheriff's community service officer returned to Churchill's home to follow-up on the animals not previously confiscated. The officer saw four horses that appeared malnourished but didn't see any food in the horses' pens, and the water in the horse tank was frozen.

Two dogs also appeared malnourished.

Police obtained a search warrant and, with a Kearney veterinarian, seized the horses, two dogs and one bucket calf. The veterinarian determined the animals were emaciated and lacked adequate food and water. Beaune took in the neglected horses and calf, while the dogs went to the Kearney Area Animal Shelter.

"He was a Auschwitz horse - a walking skeleton," Beaune said of a 12-year-old mustang stallion police confiscated from Churchill. "He was horrendous. Horrific."

The horse was euthanized the following day.

Three other horses, a 3-year-old pony, an 8-year-old quarter horse gelding and a 4-year-old quarter horse gelding, were so thin their ribs were prominently showing. They had neither received vaccinations nor had their hooves trimmed. However, Beaune said they're now recovering.

"Starving a pony is really hard to do. They're the most-easy keeper you've ever seen in your life. You give a pony a flake of grass and a puff of warm air and they'll gain weight," Beaune said with a chuckle. "I've never had a pony that didn't gain weight like gangbusters."

The bucket calf was thin, too, but alert. Beaune has since sent him to live with a neighbor who raises cattle.

Churchill was arrested Jan. 26 but posted bond. He is scheduled to appear in court later this month.


Case Updates

By serving a search warrant at Timothy Churchill's rural Ravenna home in January, authorities believe they've cleared up another case.

In January, Buffalo County deputy sheriffs executed a search warrant at Churchill's home at 44745 220th Road because of suspected animal abuse and neglect. During the search, deputies located a homemade green single-axle trailer and 24 cattle panels.

The panels are believed to be the ones that were reported stolen in September from a Ravenna man in an area near 19900 Buckeye Road. Police contacted the man, and he identified the panels and trailer as being his.

Churchill is charged in Buffalo County Court with one count of felony theft of the panels and trailer. At press time, he was being held at the Buffalo County Jail on 10 percent of a $25,000 bond and would need to post $2,500 to be freed.

He is scheduled to appear in court later this month.
Source: kearneyhub.com - Feb 7, 2011
Update posted on Feb 13, 2011 - 10:17PM 

References


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