Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19883
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Friday, Sep 7, 2012

County: Churchill

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

Defendant/Suspect: Dorothy Robertson

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

A horse rescue operation out of Wells, Nevada is hoping to gain custody of 31 horses seized from a Churchill County property two weeks ago. Wednesday, the Justice of the Peace in Fallon ruled the Northeastern Nevada Equine rescue can take the horses, if it pays for the vet bills and board.

Deanna Tierney drove all the way from Wells on Thursday to Fallon in hopes of taking home at least some of the 31 horses seized from a Churchill County woman earlier this month.

"From the first time I saw your report and I saw the case of abuse and neglect, I just put my name in with the court clerk," says Tierney when asked why she wanted to get involved.

The horses in question are currently at the Fallon Livestock Exchange, where they are being cared for.

Churchill County Sheriff Ben Trotter says at the time of seizure, the horses were malnourished, and many have feet that have grown out to such an extent, they have trouble walking.

Tierney says she's had experience with these kinds of health problems before.

"Wth the really bad slipper feet, we are looking at a good year to correct that," says Tierney

She says she has farriers who will help her, and local veterinarians who will check the horses' teeth, vaccines, and any other needs the horses may have.

The sheriff's office says criminal charges are pending against the former owner of the horses, Dorothy Robertson.

Tierney says she eventually hopes to put the animals up for adoption.


Case Updates

A 64-year-old Fallon woman pleaded guilty on Thursday in Justice Court to five counts of animal neglect.

Dorothy Robertson received a suspended sentence and was fine more than $1,500.

According to court records, Robertson was sentenced to 180 days in jail, all but two days suspended, and 48 hours of community for the first four counts. She was also sentenced to 180 days in jail, all but 22 days suspended, and 48 hours community service. All the sentences will run consecutively. The suspended sentences are for three years.

Robertson was originally charged with 34 counts of neglect and pleaded not guilty to all counts in October. According to the criminal complaint, Robertson failed to provide proper sustenance and food and drink to the animals.

The Churchill County Sheriff's Office confiscated the horses from her property in September. One horse was euthanized and the remaining animals relocated to the Northeastern Nevada Equine Rescue in Wells.

Robertson said in a previous interview CCSO deputies came to her home after receiving the tip and spoke to her about the horse in need of euthanization. She agreed the animal must be put down, and was suspected of not providing enough food for the other animals.

Robertson said she disputed the allegations and pointed to 16 bales of hay and numerous buckets of feed throughout the 10-acre property.

Sheriff Ben Trotter, though, said deputies responded to a call on July 1 and gave Robertson a warning. That warning, according to Trotter, discovered three or four horses developing problems with their hooves, although it was not serious.

Robertson said some of the horses' hooves were slightly overgrown and she was waiting for a friend to assist the trimming because she could not perform the tasks on her own.

Since the July warning, Trotter said the horses became thinner, in weaker condition and the problems with hooves have grown.
Source: Post-Independent - Jan 11, 2013
Update posted on Mar 31, 2013 - 7:20PM 
"Deprived a bay stud, white underside, of substance, food or drink or neglected or refused to furnish such substance or drink. Do you understand that charge?" asked Justice of the Peace Mike Richards as he read off each count to defendant Dorothy Robertson, per her request

Robertson told the court the description of the horses on the criminal complaint was so vague she couldn't tell if the horses were on her property or not.

That's when Judge Richards told her she could take that issue up with her defense attorney.

Robertson told the court she had no money for an attorney, and wanted one appointed to her.

She said she drove a cab the previous night and earned $30.

She told the court she had no stocks, no bonds, no real estate holdings.

All she has she says is a truck.

That request was granted.

34 horses are part of the criminal complaint.

Some of them were underweight, others with feet so bad they could barely walk.

Churchill County Sherrff's Office seized the horses from Robertson's residence on 3594 Hillsboro Boulevard.

The complaint said some of the horses were so confined they could barely move.

At the time Sheriff Ben Trotter was adamant about animal abuse and neglect cases in his county

"We are taking a very assertive approach to animal cruelty cases in Churchill County at this point, said the Sheriff.

Robertson declined to talk on camera about the 34 misdemeanors she faces, as did Deputy D.A Lane Mills who said his office does not comment on pending cases

The horses taken from Robertson's property on September 6th have since been moved to a horse rescue in Wells, Nevada.

The judge took them out of Robertson's possession at a previous hearing.

Robertson's trial is set for December 28th.
Source: KOLO - Oct 29, 2012
Update posted on Mar 31, 2013 - 7:19PM 

References

  • KOLO - Sept 21, 2012


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