One neglected horse seized, another put down in Clarke
Posted: January 10, 2013
The Winchester Star
BERRYVILLE — Clarke County became the owner of a horse seized from a local resident Wednesday after General District Court Judge Amy Tisinger ruled the animal was the victim of neglect.
A second horse found on the property of Connie J. Wynkoop on Dec. 28 was euthanized.
According to Clarke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Suzanne “Suni” Mackall, Deputy N.D. Chambers responded to the 300 block of Swimley Road after receiving a call about two horses that appeared to be without food.
After Chambers checked on the horses, veterinarian Nora S. Grenager of Harrison Equine was called to evaluate them.
Mackall said one of the animals was lying on the ground and unable to stand.
“It was eunthanized at the scene,” Mackall said, adding there was “no food anywhere” on the property for the horses, although they did have water.
“It takes some time for horses to get to that condition,” Mackall told Tisinger, adding that it was a case of “tremendous neglect.”
Tisinger determined, in questioning Wynkoop, that the horses belonged to the woman’s daughter. Wynkoop said her daughter and two grandchildren had moved in with her after a divorce. Her daughter then left the home, leaving Wynkoop with the grandchildren and the animals.
Mackall said that, for the county’s purposes, Wynkoop could be considered the owner of the surviving horse. Wynkoop agreed to have it transferred to the county’s ownership.
“I understand your daughter dumped all this on you,” Tisinger told Wynkoop, but added the defendant would still be responsible for paying $1,575.20 in veterinary bills incurred for the surviving’s horse’s treatment at Harrison Equine.
Officials said the animal, described by county Supervisor Barbara Byrd as a quarter horse-type mare, about 10 years old, would be moved to the holding area behind the Clarke County Animal Shelter, where the Clarke County Humane Foundation built a run-in shed in a fenced area last year. This will be the first time the shelter has been used for a horse, Byrd said.
Robina Rich Bouffault, president of the Clarke County Equine Alliance, said the county is fortunate to have a reliable process in place to help such animals.
“This is another case of a human tragedy indirectly resulting in animal neglect and abuse,” she said.
Bouffault assured the mare would be taken care of appropriately by the county and that the equine community would try to help find a “good, caring home” for the horse.
Bouffault is already caring for a horse taken by the courts in 2011, after it was found to be a victim of abuse and neglect.
“Our hearts also go out to the grandmother who will be caring for her two grandchildren,” Bouffault added.
Tisinger said it will be up to the county to decide what to do with the horse.
— Contact Val Van Meter at email@example.com