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Saturday, Nov 19, 2005
» Ralph Hunter
» Sherry Hunter
Case Updates: 3 update(s) available
A man facing animal-cruelty related charges says his horses are in good condition, adding he can't understand why animal control officials removed four of his horses yesterday amid fears of their malnourishment.
Ralph Hunter, whose farm in the Township of Edwardsburgh was the focus of a Friday night raid by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said any worries about his horses being mistreated were unfounded.
"There's no problem here," Mr. Hunter said yesterday in front of his farm, the front yard of which was covered in old barrels and other debris. "The horses are in good shape."
OSPCA officials seized four of Mr. Hunter's 28 horses along with one pig on Friday, saying they were found in deplorable living conditions and were severely underfed. Officials also reported seeing feces throughout Mr. Hunter's house. They had planned on taking all the horses away but had trouble corralling the unruly animals, forcing them to leave 24 horses behind.
Mr. Hunter said the OSPCA has visited his farm before but had never removed any animals until yesterday. He insisted there was no reason for their removal. "I feed my animals every day. I got lots of hay. I have receipts for hay," he said. "It'd be different if you weren't feeding them, but when you feed an animal it's different," he added later. He also denied his house was dirty and said the shelters for his animals were in good form.
But Connie Mallory, a senior inspector with the OSPCA, disputed Mr. Hunter's assertions his animals were healthy. "We would not have attempted to remove them if they were in good health," she said. Ms. Mallory said an OSPCA officer will check on the property daily to make sure food and water are in place for the remaining horses and 12 cattle. An officer who visited the property yesterday did find food and water there, she said.
But even if the daily essentials continue to be provided, she added, the OSPCA still plans on taking away the remaining horses and cattle once they tame them enough. "What we're trying to do is gain some of (the horses') trust," she said. "They were just too nervous (Friday) night."
The approximately eight dogs on the property were in good condition and won't be seized, she said.
Mr. Hunter and his partner, who both he and officials didn't want to identify, are charged with failing to provide suitable and adequate food, water and care for the animals. They will be appearing in a Brockville court on Dec. 20.
|The Ontario SPCA is caring for the nine animals removed and is continuing to monitor the condition of additional animals remaining on the property. A court date is being set for April 7, 2006.|
|Source: Ontario SPCA - March 2006|
Update posted on Mar 24, 2006 - 8:45PM
|Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) officials and police officers were at 1320 Rooney Road, north of Cardinal, on February 1, 2006 to remove animals again. Ralph and Sherry Hunter, the residents here, were charged in November 2005 with failing to provide suitable and adequate care for horses, cattle and a pig.|
Connie Mallory, a senior inspector with the OSPCA, said the recent removals were related to the previous charges and no new ones have been laid. She said four horses and "a number of cattle" were removed from the property. "They were removed because they were in very poor body condition," which she said resulted from "a lack of proper care." The agency wanted to remove the animals earlier, and because the ground is now frozen, it made it easier to get a truck and trailer on the field to retrieve them, she said.
Mallory said OSPCA officials have been at the farm regularly since the charges were laid to keep a check on the animals' health, though this is the first time since November 2005 some have been taken away. "There is usually someone out there every other day," Mallory said. She said the OSPCA will continue to monitor the condition of animals at the Rooney Road property. Asked about the co-operation of the property owners, Mallory said, "Let's just say it's reasonable co-operation."
Several vehicles were parked along the road outside the property, including two marked OPP cars, at least one unmarked police cruiser and two OSPCA trucks. Police officers and OSPCA officials could be seen on the property, near a barn, talking with plain clothes individuals as horses and cattle roamed around them.
|Source: Brockville Recorder - February 2, 2006|
Update posted on Feb 18, 2006 - 7:45AM
|Animal cruelty charges have been laid against two area people after several animals were removed from a Rooney Road farm in Edwardsburgh-Cardinal Township on Friday.|
Officials from the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Grenville OPP officers were there from early afternoon to early evening, said SPCA agent Carol Anstey.
Ralph and Sherry Hunter of 1320 Rooney Road each face three counts of failing to provide suitable and adequate care for horses, cattle and a pig, said Connie Mallory, a senior inspector with the SPCA.
Mallory said four horses and a pig in "very poor body condition" were removed from the property Friday.
She said investigators were prepared to remove the remaining livestock from the property, but the animals were too wild to corral.
"They are very unsocialized and we were not able to get halters on them," Mallory said this morning. "It made things very, very difficult."
She said 28 horses, 12 cattle and some dogs remain at the property.
OSPCA officials will be attending daily to care for the livestock, she stressed, adding there were no concerns about the conditions of the dogs.
"The dogs were in good body condition," she said.
Hunter also has been ordered to clean up his property to improve the living conditions of the animals, Mallory said.
She was reluctant to say much about what inspectors observed at the Hunter farm.
"It was unsuitable conditions for these animals to stay in and that's why we were removing them," she said.
Asked about Hunter's co-operation with allowing OSPCA officials onto his property, Mallory said, "So far, so good."
Jordan Road resident Rick Grima lives on the farm east of Hunter and said he's been disturbed by the activity on the property since Hunter purchased it about 10 years ago.
Anstey did confirm the farm in question has been under investigation for "a number of years."
Grima said the animals are constantly getting loose and wandering onto his farm.
"I've seen cattle walk right out of the house," Grima said Saturday.
Grima lives next door with his wife and four-year-old son and has 16 cattle and three horses as well as cash crops on his 88-acre farm. He said he sold a second property he owns across the road from Hunter for $81,000, which was $18,000 less than its appraised value.
Hunter did not respond to a message left at his home and a person answering the phone hung up twice when a reporter called Sunday night.
Anstey was at the farm when the animals were seized Friday, but would not comment on what she saw.
"I can't comment on that other than to say that the charges were laid in regards to the cruelty to the animals on the property," she said.
|Source: Section A, page 1 in the Monday, November 21, 2005 - Brockville Recorder & Times|
Update posted on Nov 21, 2005 - 2:18PM
- Canada.Com - November 20, 2005
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