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virginia

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Cindy Moss forwarded this article to me last night. Another delay.....

Home > News & Opinion > Local News Coverage

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No ruling on fate of neglected Upton horses

By Danielle Williamson / Daily News Staff

Saturday, July 2, 2005

MILFORD -- An Upton couple charged with neglecting as many as 30 horses on their farm have winnowed down the herd by sending the animals to other caretakers, their lawyer said yesterday.

Since their arraignment Monday, Jerrold Arnowitz and Maria Kelleghan have sent about 20 horses to new homes, leaving only seven or eight at their 22 Oak Drive spread, lawyer Dan Solomon told Milford District Court Judge Robert Calagione.

Yesterday, Solomon and prosecutor Robert Shea presented plans Calagione had sought on caring for the horses. The judge declined to act, asking for more information next week.

"I'm still stuck on my ability to order (the plan) the commonwealth has suggested," Calagione said.

The case drew media attention when the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals filed a criminal complaint against Arnowitz and Kelleghan last month.

A group of approximately 12 horse trainers, owners and breeders attended both court sessions this week, and have worked with the assistant district attorney to develop a plan to remove the remaining horses from the Upton farm.

Yesterday, Shea presented Calagione with a plan put together by the Northeast Miniature Horse Club, of which one of the concerned horse owners is president.

The club would remove the horses from the Upton farm and locate them temporarily at a "triage" facility 15 minutes away. Once there, the horses would be photographed and numbered for identification, evaluated by a veterinarian, treated for immediate problems and, if appropriate, assigned to foster homes after several days.

Solomon proposed that five of the seven to eight horses remain in Arnowitz and Kelleghan's custody. As a "middle ground," he said, Arnowitz would remove all the horses on his farm, and give them to "reputable horse breeders."

Solomon said he would provide the MSPCA with a list of names and addresses of the horse breeders, so the horses could be monitored.

"We find the veterinary plan lacking," Shea said of Solomon's proposed compromise. "Witnesses with a lot of credentials will testify as to where that plan is lacking." [continue]

Home > News & Opinion > Local News Coverage

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No ruling on fate of neglected Upton horses

[continued from previous page]

Shea argued that state law entitles the animals "to the highest sustenance available," which he said they were not receiving on Arnowitz and Kelleghan's farm.

In its June 16 complaint, the MSPCA said its law enforcement division saw as many as 30 skinny horses at the farm in late April. Tubs were low on water, preventing many horses from drinking, the MSPCA alleged.

"Horses do have rights, but they're also assets," Solomon said. "I know of no authority by which a court can take property (from one party), and give it to another."

Calagione, too, was unsure of whether he could order the horses removed before a conviction. The judge said he would maintain "status quo," and asked the attorneys to provide him with memoranda about their plans by next week. A hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday.

"Our position, ultimately, is we'd like to see them not own horses," said Sgt. Peter Oberton, prosecuting officer with the MSPCA's law enforcement division.

Outside the courthouse, Arnowitz said the judge was fair. He maintains he and Kelleghan had not abused the horses.

"Some were skinny during the winter," he said. "On a scale of one to 10, 5 being the middle, they were 2s and 3s. Now they're 3s and 4s."

A group of women, some of whom had bought Arnowitz's horses, shook their heads in disbelief as Arnowitz spoke.

"It's unconscionable, what you've done," said Uxbridge resident Dawn Tessier-Rose, who bought a dozen of the horses with her sister, Jodie-May Rose, months ago.

"Why don't you people butt out, let the court decide, and grow up," Arnowitz said as he walked away from the group.

"It's very disheartening today," said Cindy Moses of Bow, N.H., president of the Northeast Miniature Horse Club. Moses contacted 70 other miniature horse owners after reading about Tessier-Rose and Rose's efforts to rescue the horses.

Moses, who holds a degree in equine studies from the University of New Hampshire, accompanied lawyers on a trip Monday to the Upton farm to see the horses. [continue]

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"I found filthy conditions, no shelter that will accommodate or could have accommodated that number of horses over a winter and a herd of dejected, malnourished horses, some covered with sores and fungus, some with winter hair still clinging in filthy mats, and backbones and hip bones protruding," she said.

Moses was disappointed that the judge did not prevent Arnowitz from distributing horses to other breeders of his choice.

Again, please do not write or email anyone connected with this situation. The Northeast Mini Horse Club has everything under control and are doing a great job.

Ginny StP
 

aBreeze

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That is just so wrong... I rescue, and when you start working with these animals its like... they are the sweetest most appreciative beings. How anyone can bring them to that level of suffering... I really dont know. Is there any pics of the horses?
 

horsefeather

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I have been following this and have so far tried to keep my mouth shut. However, and I know full well I'm going to get in trouble for saying this, but I feel I must!

First, let me say that I am thankful that at least some of the minis were moved. But I have to wonder about the last paragraph asking us not to write, or call, etc.

"Again, please do not write or email anyone connected with this situation. The Northeast Mini Horse Club has everything under control and are doing a great job."

Why doesn't this club want any help? If everything were "under control" there would be no more horses left at these horrible people's place! Maybe they need some more pressure. Seems to me the judge in this case is either a total idiot or doesn't want to 'stir any waters.' Now I don't mean to belittle their efforts, as I know they have done a lot, but folks, as long as there are animals being abused and suffering, something needs to be stirred up! And yes, I will put my money where my mouth is and when all is settled (if ever ?) I will send all I can to help the people who helped these defenseless animals!

Pam
 

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