A situation is taking place here which I would not have believed could take place here in my county at the present time.
For a little background, we are about 50 miles from one of the relatively few regularly conducted horse auctions. This is in the heart of Amish country, and is the equivalent of a used car auction for the rest of us. Many of the old, injured, neglected or injured horses end up there and are bought for meat, some for dog food and some for food for people overseas.
There are a few "backwoodsy people" with good pasture land and water who buy some of these horses, give them good care, and resell them after they have recovered their health. A man who lives a few miles from me was such a person.
There had been a drought of major proportions here last summer, resulting in lots of semi-starved horses going through the auction. This man had bought hay for his, which the veterinarians claimed was "subquality" as the result of the drought. He had just acquired some of these starving horses when the county sheriff appeared with a horse van and proceeded to haul them away to the 4-H fairgrounds, where they were boarded for 6 months. The county officials were amazed at what it cost to keep 37 horses for six months, and the veterinarian charged $10,000 to examine them plus a monthly fee, and people had to be hired to look after them. Those responsible for maintanence on the 4-H barns claimed that their facilities were subjected to damage and the county had to repair them.
Anyway, the county claimed that the man had taken good, well fed horses and starved them just because he was mean. He was found guilty on 37 or so counts of animal cruelty. Once he discovered that his attorney was working against his best interests, and that he would not be allowed to present witnesses to explain his side of the story, he tried to replace him but the judge refused to let him!
They are talking about sentencing him to 15 years. The only angle I can figure is that somebody wants his pasture land. Generally the courts here are pretty fair.
That is my take on the situation anyway, and there may be facts of which I may not be aware.