Cross-posted from Equine Advocacy Examiner
Written by MAUREEN HARMONAY
The report starts with:
Mary O’Brien had portrayed herself as a friend to horses in need. Raising considerable sums of money through online forums such as Alex Brown Racing, she brought retired thoroughbreds and horses bound for the slaughter pipeline to her Hidden Meadows Equine Rescue near Martinsburg, West Virginia, seemingly to provide a safe haven where horses could live and thrive without fear.
What no one knew until September 10th, however, when authorities responded to reports of possible abuse at Ms. O’Brien’s place, was that something terrible was happening to the horses after they arrived at Hidden Meadows, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit rescue. They weren’t being fed, and they had little access to water. Ms. O’Brien wasn’t providing even rudimentary care to the 56 horses living on her farm. Within a matter of just a few months after their arrival at Hidden Meadows, once-healthy horses had become walking skeletons. Some lay dead, others lay dying, beyond hope of revival.
O’Brien was taken to Court on 56 counts of animal cruelty, but she walked away free.
The report continues with:
ADA (Asst Districty Attorney) Crockett never bothered to study the voluminous case file. She never reviewed the photographs of the suffering horses, and astonishingly, she never bothered to interview veterinarian Dr. Christine Bridges, or the local Animal Control officer, or Deputy Scott Myers from the Sheriff’s office, who have been painstakingly working this case to ensure that Ms. O’Brien would receive punishment commensurate with her crimes. Instead, ADA Crockett deemed that the misery of the 56 horses who were ruined at the hands of Mary O’Brien was worth nothing more than a $1000 fine and a slap on the wrist.
If you live in the area, you can help.
The report concludes:
Dr. Bridges will conduct a press conference at 11am, Friday, October 22nd on the steps of the Berkeley County Circuit Courthouse at 400 West Stephen St., Martinsburg, WV to demand answers from the Chief Prosecutor’s office. She asks for the support of everyone who believes that the person responsible for the suffering of 56 horses should be held accountable for the misery she has wrought.