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Press Release
March 9, 2001
Equine Protection Network, Inc.

Press Releases

March 9, 2001

Foal Found Frozen to Death on Pond, 2 More Horses Dead-
4 Owners Convicted
Cruelty Charges Filed in Wayne County, PA
Cruelty Convictions Appealed
PA Horse & Buggy Crashes
Cruelty Complaints

Foal Found Frozen to Death on Pond, 2 More Horses Dead-
4 Owners Convicted

Lurgan Township, PA District Justice John Weyman found Christopher Middlekauf guilty on 3 counts, Tammy Middlekauf guilty on 1 count, Linda Funston guilty on 3 counts and Phillip Funston guilty on 2 counts of cruelty to animals, involving 3 dead horses including a foal, 2 months old.

The Judge stated to the four defendants in court on March 9, 2001 that there are some people who should not have children and there are some people who should not have horses. You should not have horses.

During testimony in the hearing the defendants testified that the foal had been found dead and already frozen to the pond in the beginning of January 2001. The other 2 horses were found alive lying down in the field.

When asked if they called a vet for the downed horses, the owners stated they believed the horses were already too, "far gone."

The humane agent then asked the owners if they called a vet to euthanise the dying horses. The owners stated they had not called a vet to euthanise the dying horses. The owners admitted in court that the horses did not have enough water. One defendant stated she had seen the gray mare that later died, lying down in the field and thought that she was having a foal.

The defendants blamed each other for failing to feed and water the horses.

The Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter in Franklin County, PA filed 9 counts of cruelty to animals, Section 5511(c) in January 2001 after an investigation prompted by the discovery of 3 dead horses in the defendants' front yard. According to reports, complaints against these owners go back a period of 3 years.

The Judge ordered the defendants to dispose of the 5 other horses that they currently own within 30 days. If the owners comply the fines will be $200.00 on each count. If the defendants choose to keep their other 5 horses the fines will be $750.00 on each count.

Section 5511(c) of the PA Anti-Cruelty Statute: "Cruelty to animals.--A person commits a summary offense if he wantonly or cruelly ill-treats, overloads, beats, otherwise abuses any animal, or neglects any animal as to which he has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, or abandons any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter or veterinary care, or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal's body heat and keep it dry. This subsection shall not apply to activity undertaken in normal agricultural operation."

Cruelty Charges Filed in Wayne County, PA

Waymart, PA- Channel 16 News, WNEP, reported on Thursday, March 2,2001 that 14 counts of cruelty to animals were filed against Lorraine Mattern of Rainbow Farms for failure to provide necessary food.

Rainbow Farms has run ads for their Paint stallion at stud in the Paper Horse.

Ms Mattern has served time in jail on unrelated charges.

In previous investigations of Waymart Farms, cruelty investigators from Lackawanna County stated that as long as there was hay in the barn there was nothing they could do.

The PA Anti-Cruelty law states "necessary food". That means the owner has to USE the food, not just possess it. Many Americans possess exercise equipment. That does not mean they are in excellent physical shape. Owners must use the equipment. Horse owners must use the food to feed their horses. Horse owners must use dewormers, not just own the product.

Witnesses have made complaints to law enforcement agencies in the past regarding 3 horses that have died at the farm, from what appeared to be starvation.

Cruelty Convictions Appealed

In September 2000, District Justice Henry McCool found Lynn Brush of Barrett Township, Monroe County, PA guilty after a hearing of 5 counts of cruelty to animals, 5511(c). The Judge fined her $2,500 and sentenced her to 90 days in the Monroe County Correctional Facility.

One horse died and the remaining 4 horses were found in an emaciated condition when Barrett Township Police seized the horses in July 2000.

The PA SPCA had refused to respond to complaints of a dead horse and 4 starving horses. The Judge ordered forfeiture of the horses.

The appeal is set for April 24, 2001.

Kiehl Appeal

Arlow Kiehl, Watertown, NY was convicted of transporting horses in an inhumane manner in Manheim, PA. Mr. Kiehl was transporting 17 horses and mules from New Holland, PA to Watertown, NY. PA State Police stopped Mr. Kiehl in June 2000 on Rte 30 in Lancaster County. In August 2000 District Justice Miller found Kiehl guilty after a hearing and fined him $200.00 plus court costs.

Mr. Kiehl's appeal hearing is scheduled for April 16, 2001 at 1 PM in Lancaster, PA in the Lancaster County Courthouse. The EPN is urging the public to attend to show their support for the humane transport of horses & their opposition to the use of double deck cattle trailers to transport horses.

PA Horse & Buggy Crashes

The welfare of carriage horses is a hot topic right now. Forgotten, or perhaps overlooked in all of this is Amish buggy horses who work under many of the same conditions as city carriage horses. There are no limits on the number of hours worked by Amish horses.

According to the American Horse Protection Association, AHPA, 60 carriage horse accidents were reported to the AHPA over a 20-year period from 1980 to 2000. Last year alone in PA, there were 60 reported crashes involving horses and buggies.

According to Penn Dot there were 455 reportable crashes in PA involving a horse and buggy from 1995 through 2000.

227 in Lancaster;
26 in Chester;
23 in Mifflin;
17 in Lawrence
16 in Centre;
12 each in Lebanon & Mercer
10 each in Crawford, Franklin, & Indiana

Reportable crashes are crashes involving a fatality, injuries, or a vehicle that has to be towed. Due to a 3 or 4-month lag time from the time the crash occurred till the time it is entered into the system, the numbers for 2000 may be higher.

Counties reporting: 40 out of 67.

Cruelty Complaints

Greene County, PA

Lifelong horse owners are making complaints to the Greene County Humane Society regarding 2 horses that are tied up short to telephone poles with no shelter in all types of weather. Witnesses report that the horse's ribs, spines and hipbones are visible through the horses' winter haircoat.

PA anti-cruelty law, Title 18, Section 5511(c ) requires that horses be provided, " access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal's body heat and keep it dry."