Case Snapshot
Case ID: 2289
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Thursday, Apr 8, 2004

County: Walworth

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Harry Suhr

A man looking for his lost cat near his neighbor's property on April 8 found a dead mare instead.

Harry A. Suhr, a lawyer from Crystal Lake, Illinois, was arrested on April 10 after authorities discovered the dead mare along with 36 horses in various stages of illness on his Walworth farm.  Most were very thin and had bloodied feet, according to Capt. Dana Nigbor of the Walworth County Sheriff's Department.Six were so ill they were transferred to the Elkhorn Veterinary Clinic.

The barn was in "deplorable condition," Nigbor said. "(The horses') heads were touching the roof of the barn. They had to keep bending down, which isn't good for them."  The horses had only hay to eat and not much water to drink. Nigbor said sheriff's deputies, including herself, had investigated complaints of animal cruelty at Suhr's farm in 1994 and 1998 but no charges were ever filed.

Suhr was kept in the Walworth County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. That bail was changed on April 13 to a $20,000 signature bond, and he was released.  In the criminal complaint, Suhr, 71, was charged with one felony count of animal cruelty for the dead horse and 10 misdemeanors, including six counts of mistreatment of animals and three counts of failure to provide proper shelter to his horses.

If convicted, the maximum penalty for the felony count is 18 months in prison, two years of extended supervision and a $10,000 fine. The maximum penalty for conviction on each misdemeanor count is nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The Lakeland Animal Shelter is coordinating the care of the horses, including medical needs, grooming and suitable shelter.  According to the shelter's Web site, most of the horses are Morgans and of varying ages but need vaccinations and shoe work. At least three of the mares are pregnant.


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