This farm is 2 miles from my mom's house. The local people have been trying hard to get these horses helped, but thought the state was giving them the runaround, thank god the lawyer got involved. The problem was these people knew just how far they could go and they would tell the animal control officer that they were doing nothing wrong and knew their rights. Legally it is something lame like if there is 2 bales of hay on the premises and a bucket of water and just a wagon for a windbreak in the middle of the winter, than that is enough. They do not own this farm, they are just renting it. A friend of mine told me she rescued back one of her horses from these people on a farm that their mother owned years ago and it was just about dead, although the vet did manage to save it. My friend told me the state has prosecuted this outfit in the past, but the mother took the fall, so the other family members could keep doing this.
Meris Bickford is the attorney who filed a complaint back in the first part of the year when she went to FPF to purchase a horse. Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle has been quite involved the last few months, and I give him much of the credit for what happened yesterday.
I don't believe Alexis' family has ever been prosecuted by the state - there was what many thought was an open and shut sort of case back in 2002 with a horse who had been in Alexis's care on her parents' farm in Burnham, but the state never took the steps to follow up. Story here.
Unfortunately the state of Maine has a long history of ignoring truly horrific cases of animal abuse, especially when it comes to large animals such as horses. I can only hope that perhaps this case (and the one in Waldoboro last year) are the start of a turning of the tide.