Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18951
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: horse
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Thursday, Dec 8, 2011

County: Washtenaw

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged:
» Anthony Crummie
» Joe LeFlore - Convicted
» Sarah Hundley - Convicted
» Durrell Montgomery
» Isaac Brown
» Dietrich Brown

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Two horses may have starved to death and 18 have been removed from a horse boarding facility in Salem Township as the Humane Society of Huron Valley continues its investigation into what it says is a large-scale animal cruelty case.

Three horse owners may be prosecuted, the Humane Society said in an article posted on its website this morning.

Matt Schaecher, director of animal cruelty at the Humane Society said investigators have seized 18 horses at the facility since Thursday night. Nine were initially taken away Thursday night, he said, but investigators then discovered other severely neglected animals and seized nine more in the early morning hours Friday.

The Double Diamond boarding facility on Seven Mile Road near Currie Road has more than 60 horses on the property, and nearly 20 have been neglected, the Humane Society said in an article posted on its website. Many of the horses are seriously underfed and in desperate need of veterinary care.

"This is a terrible sight to see," Schaecher said. "Starving to death in the cold is a horrible way for these noble creatures to die. This will be a costly case and challenging in terms of ongoing care of the animals. Michigan's economy has been very difficult on horses because they are so expensive to care for, and even if you wanted to sell or give away your horse, nobody's taking them right now because of the costs involved."

The facility merely provides space for owners to rent, Schaecher said Thursday. It is the responsibility of owners to care for their animals.

The investigation began Tuesday after the Humane Society received calls from people concerned about the animals, Schaecher said Thursday.


Case Updates

Six people have been charged with various levels of animal cruelty in connection with sick and dying horses at the Double Diamond boarding facility in Salem Township.

Two dead and 18 malnourished horses were removed from Double Diamond in Salem Township last December after a tip was called in to the Humane Society of Huron Valley investigation team. The HSHV discovered that some of the 60 horses at the facility looked malnourished and unkept.

Anthony Crummie, 32, and Joe LeFlore, 58, both of Detroit were charged with animal cruelty of one animal, which carries a 93 day misdemeanor. Sarah Hundley, 43, of Detroit, Durrell Montgomery, 27 of Westland, Isaac Brown, 46 of Southfield, and Dietrich Brown, 45 of Northville, were charged with animal cruelty of two to three animals, which is a one year misdemeanor charge.

LeFlore and Hundley pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to probation, according to Jonathan Emmons, Washtenaw County assistant prosecuting attorney. The other cases are still pending.

South Lyon resident Janine Asher, who drives by the facility daily, said the case has led to nightmares for her, when she remembers seeing the emaciated animals "on the verge of death." She was one of the people to call in a tip to the Humane Society. She first called last summer, and said she was discouraged when investigators took until December to remove horses.

"I was among a lot of people who made phone calls to them," Asher said.

She said she could see the horses from the road and they looked deathly malnourished. Asher also said she has mixed emotions about the criminal action taken against the six people.

"After the horses died, their bodies laid out there on the ground," Asher said. "I wish this story could make a difference in the judicial system. If they had gone in there and looked, those horses wouldn't have died."

After the horses were taken from Double Diamond they were taken to Starry Skies Equine and Sanctuary in Scio Township. She said she believed many of those horses were returned to Double Diamond.

"There's no words that can express the disappointment," Asher said. "I went through night after night of not being able to sleep."

The investigation is ongoing, Emmons said.

"There's a lot of different forms of animal cruelty," he said. "It comes in the form of failure to provide adequate care and that can take on any multiple forms such as not providing sufficient food, water, shelter or veterinary care."

Double Diamond and the Humane Society were unavailable for comment.

Anyone interested in making a donation to Starry Skies can call (734) 904-5090 for more information.
Source: hometownlife.com - Apr 5, 2012
Update posted on Apr 5, 2012 - 11:11AM 

References

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