A long-running animal-abuse case concluded Friday with the SPCA of Upstate New York taking possession of 13 horses from a farm whose owners have been convicted of neglect.
The animals were taken from the former Ann Arnold farm on Wilton-Greenfield Road under a forfeiture order signed by Greenfield town Justice Michael Ginley, who has heard three negligence cases against Arnold or her brother since 2011.
Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen said the removal of the horses was the culmination of separate prosecutions against Arnold and her brother, Duane Carpenter.
“It was good to see a conclusion finally to a situation that was not acceptable,” said Heggen, who handled the case personally starting in September 2011, when she was an assistant district attorney.
The horses were rounded up Friday morning and trucked away by SPCA volunteers and Monica Coville, president and founder of the Equine Rescue League in Cooperstown. Heggen said the horses will go to “new locations throughout New York state” to be nursed back to health and cared for.
“It is a good day today for the horses that are now on their way to new lives, new caretakers and new homes,” Heggen said.
Arnold and Carpenter, as well as a hired caretaker, James Foster, were each found guilty after Town Court trials on charges of failing to provide proper food, water and sustenance to the horses. Heggen said such charges can also cover a lack of necessary veterinary care.
Arnold has been arrested on horse neglect charges several times. She was convicted in 2012 of 19 counts of not providing proper sustenance to horses on the property and sentenced to three years’ probation, during which time she was ordered by Ginley to no longer keep animals.
Town officials have been concerned about the horses at the farm because Arnold’s probation is due to end this summer, allowing her to keep horses again.
After her conviction, Arnold transferred the farm to her brother’s ownership and moved to Washington County. Carpenter, who lives in Albany, was convicted of failure to provide property for the horses in 2013. Carpenter was convicted at another trial last month and is awaiting sentencing.