Reported by Tom Knapp
Pennsylvania — A Mifflin County man was found guilty of nine counts of animal cruelty leading to the death of two horses and leaving a third in sickly condition.
Charles Fisher of 900 Lockport Road, Lewistown, was charged in connection with an incident July 27 outside a New Holland auction house.
Assistant District Attorney Christine Wilson said Fisher will pay a $900 fine, court costs and restitution in the amount $1,390, payable to the Lancaster County SPCA.
Besides a count of animal cruelty attached to each of the horses, Fisher was charged with additional charges for depriving the horses of necessary food and veterinary care, and for arranging the sale of animals in poor condition.
According to a report Sept. 8, Fisher was involved with transporting or arranging transport to New Holland of three Arabian-type horses — a roan-colored, a dark bay-colored and a chestnut-colored mare — in “an inhumane manner.”
Because of the “severely dilapidated condition” of the horses, they were unable to sustain their own weight during transport, according to citations filed before DJ Rodney Hartman. All three horses were described in the documents as emaciated and lethargic.
The roan horse sustained nerve damage to its leg when it fell, and the bay suffered “further stress and deterioration,” the citations said. Both had to be euthanized.
The 17-year-old chestnut mare survived.
Susan Martin, director of the Lancaster County SPCA, said the animal shelter got involved after receiving a tip about the transaction.
The horses were being sold on a Sunday evening in the parking lot at New Holland Sales Stables, 101 W. Fulton St., she said. The auction house was closed at the time and “had nothing to do with this,” Martin said.
The surviving horse was taken Aug. 13 to Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine, Maryland. Martin said the mare, named Anastasia’s Ally, is now in “very good” condition — the horse has gained 128 pounds since August.