Things have been a mess for quite some time. It began in 2006, and started out on the wrong foot, and has escalated from there. I know this person very well, volunteered at this rescue for a long time, and watched a lot of really awful things go on. The old property was in great shape when she moved in. But a refusal to care for the property itself ran down the property quickly. What has happened recently is yes, there was an investigation, yes, the president and 2 of her children were found to be living in a contractors trailer she had hauled in with no running water. That building was condemned. Horses are starving, escaping looking for food and wandering on a busy highway. There were also something to the tune of 7 dogs, including at least 3 large breed dogs that attack the horses (there are witnesses to this fact) in the trailer as well. there were 50+ horses at the old facility. Many have died. There are something like 15-20 buried at the old property in just a very short 2-3 year lease. there are three buried in a shallow grave at the current property, one has been dug up and eaten on. 2 mares were shot and left out for more than 2 weeks in a marsh that belongs to the neighbor. They were finally buried when the dept of ag bent their own standards and made her bury them after they had laid out way longer than the statues allow for. another was shot, left for scavengers for days, then burned with a matress and motor oil. Needless to say, most of the body is still laying in the pasture with those still alive. Laws are so lax in Ohio, all they have to see if a bale of hay and a bag of grain on the property somewhere, and officials walk away . I am not against shooting a horse who is in pain and the vet can't get there quickly, but when the shot goes off, and blows the jaw open, and they have to chase the horse down to shoot it again, i have an issue with that. It is disgusting. The LCO in the area hasnt been of much help either. we have begged for a true investigation, a vet has offered her services, i believe free of charge, to build a case, and still nothing. its sickening and sad. and this is just a short list. Please visit Hopeless Horses on facebook. You will know it is the right page if the profile pic is a thin black mare with a nearly bald face. The photos are very disturbing, but these animals have no voice, and we must rally and speak for them! there are multiple numbers and emails for everyone to voice their concerns on the page. If anyone has more info, or more ideas than what has already been tried, please let me know!
Well well well can't say I'm surprised, not only that this lady has done what she's done but also the reaction from Warren Co. Never had personal dealings with this woman myself but I know people who have and no one has had a good thing to say about her.
And Warren County is pathetic when it comes to matters of animal welfare. Myself and several friends went round and round with them for over five years about a man starving his horses. We handed them video and photo evidence on a monthly basis, hounded the police, alerted them to dead horses, had a vet willing to cooperate with them after the man allowed us to take two horses from the property to rehab (so emaciated I was afraid to haul them, literally nothing but sacks of bones). Had an employee of the man who was willing to make a statement against him after he witnessed the owner drag a horse with a broken back with a backhoe, shoot it and bury it alive because he was so sickened by what he saw, AC said too bad nothing we can do because the horse was buried on private property (WTF?) The stock reply was "...there is food and water at the barn..." Horses in manure a foot deep, "...he's been told to clean the stalls..." No, Warren County couldn't give a rat's behind when it comes to livestock. The man finally let myself and a few friends come take the last of the horses after most of them had died off because (big shocker) "they ain't worth nothing". I've got five years of horror stories about that one place, and seen some bad behavior on the county's end when another local rescue went down the tubes (starved 50 or so PMU foals) too.
This was all one township over from Serenity, no doubt same people involved on the county's end. It sickens me but I've no doubt in my mind Warren Co won't do a damn thing about it. What Cysco says is true, a sack of grain and a bale of hay on the property gives abusers a free pass to starve their horses especially in this county, I've seen it firsthand. Media around here is a bunch of wussies, won't report on it till charges are filed no matter how many pictures or videos you send them I've seen that firsthand too. Chalk it up to me being plenty bitter about my own experience here in Warren Co if you want but I've got no hope whatsoever that the county will step in.
Cysco I can give you the names/numbers of the people with the county I had contact with during my ordeal for what good it would do, they sure didn't lift a finger in the situation I was involved in.
GaitedGloryRider, the rescue in question is in Miami County. I have no knowledge of how they (Miami County Sheriff and Miami County Humane Society) will proceed.
However, if anyone here feels strongly enough about the matter, you may act to seize the animals yourself in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code section 1717.13:
1717.13 ANY PERSON MAY PROTECT ANIMAL
When, in order to protect any animal from neglect, it is necessary to take possession of it, any person may do so. When an animal is impounded or confined, and continues without necessary food, water, or proper attention for more than fifteen successive hours, any person may, as often as is necessary, enter any place in which the animal is impounded or confined and supply it with necessary food, water, and attention, so long as it remains there, or, if necessary or convenient, he may remove such animal; and he shall not be liable to an action for such entry. In all cases the owner or custodian of such animal, if known to such person, immediately shall be notified by him of such action. If the owner or custodian is unknown to such person, and cannot with reasonable effort be ascertained by him, such animal shall be considered an estray and dealt with as such.
Looking at the OH statutes I found these, not that it has to do with the current situation, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that Ohio has not left the dark ages just yet:
959.14 HORSE TAILS
No owner or person having the custody, control, or possession of a horse, mare, gelding, foal, or filly, nor an agent or employee of such owner or custodian, shall cut off or cause to be cut off or amputated the skin, flesh, muscles, bone, or integuments of the dock or tail thereof, in order to shorten its natural length or proportions; nor shall any such owner, person, or the agent or employee of either pull out the hairs of the foretop, mane, or withers thereof. This section does not prohibit the cutting or amputation of the dock or tail of a horse, mare, gelding, foal, or filly when necessary because of accident, malformation, or disease affecting such dock or tail.
(1953 H 1, eff. 10-1-53; GC 13377)
959.19 PROHIBITION AGAINST SERVICING MARE IN PUBLIC STREET
No owner of a stallion or jack or the agent of such owner, shall permit it to serve a mare within thirty feet of a public street or alley in a municipal corporation.
(1953 H 1, eff. 10-1-53; GC 13414)
\"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"
Shula Woodworth Rejects Plea in Animal Cruelty Case
by RMHP Staff,
The former director of Serenity Horse Rescue in Ohio was scheduled to enter a plea of guilty Wednesday to animal cruelty charges, but it didn't happen. The criminal case has been reset for a jury trial after Shula Woodworth decided she didn't want to enter a plea.
Woodworth faces five charges of cruelty to animals for allegedly abusing the animals she rescued. She previously pleaded not guilty.
After months of investigating, officials seized more than 100 animals from the Miami County property in February 2013. Included were 21 horses, rabbits, dogs, swine, alpacas, chickens, and a calf.
For six horses it was too late. Their bodies were found littering the grounds or in shallow graves. It isn't know what caused their deaths.
Miami County Humane Society Officer Sharon Karns tells Rate My Horse PRO the seized horses remain in the county's control since they are evidence. Fosters care for the remaining 19 equines. Three horses were euthanized in recent months, according to Karns, at the recommendation of their veterinarian.
The remaining horses she says, "are doing very well."
The Ohio SPCA reportedly took ownership of the remaining animals.
Serenity Horse Rescue, founded in 2007, has closed its doors. Woodworth must redistribute the charity's assets, according to an agreement with the state's attorney general. The contract also prohibits Woodworth from serving any Ohio charity or soliciting donations in the future.
If Woodworth is found guilty of animal cruelty, the maximum penalty she faces for each second degree misdemeanor charge is a jail sentence of 180 days and a $750.00 fine. A trial date has not been scheduled.
\"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"