Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18158
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Defense(s): James Rosenthal
Judge(s): Peggy Kittel

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Monday, Jun 27, 2011

County: Douglas

Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

Defendant/Suspect: John Michael Steffen

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

A Eudora man is being held in jail on allegations of animal cruelty. 44-year-old John Steffen was arrested this afternoon.

A Lawrence Humane Society official says the case involves a pony that had been severely neglected. The official says the animal's hooves were extremely overgrown to the point the pony could barely walk.

A veterinairian was able to save her. She's now in foster care, pending the outcome of the case.

Case Updates

A Douglas County judge Monday ordered a 44-year-old Eudora man to pay more than $4,400 to the state for care of a Shetland pony he neglected to provide proper care for over a four-year period.

John Steffen pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor animal cruelty charge after prosecutors in June filed criminal charges. A Lawrence Humane Society investigator in April had found the pony's hooves had overgrown several inches and started to curl. The pony, Coco, has been in state custody for several months and is expected to make a full recovery, assistant district attorney Mark Simpson said Monday.

He said Steffen told investigators it had been four years since the family's pony had its hooves trimmed.

"It made the animal unable to walk," Simpson said.

Defense attorney James Rosenthal said Steffen had undergone a long period of unemployment and his wife was suffering from a long-term illness.

"He's very regretful of the situation," Rosenthal said. "I believe he's taking responsibility."

In addition to paying restitution and a $100 fine, District Judge Peggy Kittel sentenced Steffen to one year on unsupervised probation, a time in which he won't be allowed to own any other horses. If he violates his probation term, he faces a week in jail.

"It must have been an awful condition for this animal to be in without proper care," Kittel said.
Source: - Nov 14, 2011
Update posted on Nov 14, 2011 - 9:22PM 
A 44-year-old rural Eudora man pleaded not guilty to an animal cruelty charge Monday in which he's accused of neglecting to care for his Shetland pony, prosecutors said.

A judge scheduled John Michael Steffen's next hearing on the charge, which is a misdemeanor, for Aug. 9. Douglas County prosecutors and animal welfare investigators said last month the 13-year-old pony had not had proper care for its hooves, which had overgrown several inches, started to curl and made it difficult for the pony to walk.

Investigators said a veterinarian determined it had been more than a year since the pony had received care for its hooves, and the veterinarian and a farrier were able to help the pony, named CoCo, recover.

The pony was being held in foster care at another location, and investigators were seeking to get the pony put up for adoption.

In April sheriff's officers checked on the pony at Steffen's property in the 1900 block of North 1200 Road.
Source: - Jul 11, 2011
Update posted on Jul 11, 2011 - 7:01PM 


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