Palatine Bridge woman faces 13 counts of animal neglect

The Montgomery County SPCA has found foster homes for five of 12 neglected horses seized from a rent

The Montgomery County SPCA has found foster homes for five of 12 neglected horses seized from a rented barn in Palatine Bridge, SPCA Director Jan Zumbolo said Friday.

Authorities on Thursday charged Deanna J. Larochelle, 67, of Palatine Bridge, with 13 misdemeanor counts of animal neglect following an investigation that led to the discovery of one dead foal, according to state police.

Zumbolo said she accompanied state police Thursday to the barn, owned by an unidentified individual from whom Larochelle is believed to be renting.

The stalls were not cleaned, one horse was left in the dark for an unknown period of time and the dead foal was discovered in a stall with its mother, Zumbolo said.

“One was just unfortunately left in the dark the whole time, and [veterinarians] said she was going to take a while to come around,” Zumbolo said.

Zumbolo said the stall with the dead foal had a broken window, leading authorities to believe it froze to death during sub-freezing temperatures between Jan. 2 and Jan. 4.

“All these horses need special care because they’ve been so malnourished,” Zumbolo said.

Zumbolo said from what she learned at the scene, the horses could have been left there alone for several weeks.

“People say they’ve never seen horses out there,” Zumbolo said.

In all, there were three stallions, eight mares and another foal found alive. Zumbolo said the foal was put on medication for pneumonia.

State police said in a news release that the horses were each thin and their coats were matted and covered with feces.

Zumbolo said the SPCA had to call in another veterinarian on Friday because one of the horses was on the ground and too weak to rise.

She said it was her understanding that this week’s seizure is not the first for Larochelle.

According to the Web site, which tracks animal abuse charges, Larochelle was the subject of another horse seizure in Herkimer County in August 2006.

The Web site lists a Sept. 26, 2006, news report from the Syracuse Post-Standard reporting that 15 horses were taken from Larochelle’s farm in Lenox and she kept 13 others. It was unclear Friday if charges were lodged then.

Larochelle was issued an appearance ticket in the latest incident and is scheduled to appear in Palatine Town Court on Jan. 21, according to police.

Categories: Schenectady County

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