OSPCA probing reports of emaciated horses in vet’s barn

UPDATE: We do not know if the allegations in the Toronto Star report below are true or untrue. We have received a number of emails and comments defending the report since posting it. We have also received emails and comments defending Kopinak, stating the Toronto Star report (below) has no basis in fact, that Kopanik has been vindicated in a subsequent article, demanding we take this post down, and even asking for a donation towards Kopinak’s legal fees. Judge for yourselves.

Visitors allege that a dozen horses they saw at a Rockwood farm looked thin, lethargic and lacking food, water or proper care.

Cross-posted from The Toronto Star — GTA


Starving horse in Ontario horse abuse case. Photo: Toronto Star.

Shocking allegations of neglect surrounding a dozen gaunt horses in a barn owned by respected Halton Hills holistic veterinarian Sharon Kopinak are under investigation by the Ontario SPCA.

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario has also launched an investigation “into the matter involving Dr. Kopinak,” Jan Robinson, the college’s registrar and CEO, told the Star Friday.

Three people who visited the farm near Rockwood on Labour Day weekend and say they took photographs allege that about 12 emaciated horses in a barn appeared to have no access to food or water and to be in a state of weakness and lethargy.

Kopinak told the Star that the Ontario Provincial Police have visited her farm and “nothing is wrong.”

In a phone message Tuesday she said “there is no story.” She refused comment in a subsequent phone call and a visit to the farm by a Star reporter Wednesday. “I’m not talking to anybody,” Kopinak said.

Wellington County OPP spokeswoman Cheri Rockefeller confirmed police went to the farm on the Labour Day weekend. No charges were laid and the police investigation is closed.

The OSPCA investigation follows allegations of horse neglect at the farm made by Orangeville realtor Carolyn Moon to the Guelph Humane Society (which comes under the OSPCA umbrella) last Saturday. Moon submitted photos she says were taken of emaciated-looking horses in Kopinak’s barn on Aug. 30.

The Star has not verified the photographs, nor been able to enter the barn. Full report and images >>

2 thoughts on “OSPCA probing reports of emaciated horses in vet’s barn”

  1. I sincerely hope that the OSPCA does a thorough investigation, as I’ve been to Sharon Kopinak’s farm many times with my ill dog and have never witnessed anything amiss. I had a 1 year old puppy that was very sick, and when the consults with 4 traditional veterinarians were very bleak, I took her to Sharon. She saved my dogs life. This was 3 years ago. I sincerely believe that Sharon would never knowingly cause any harm to any animal. She is a gifted healer.

    One thing that was overlooked in the story is that Sharon takes in RESCUE horses. She literally saves them when their owners/handlers would have put them down. For all we know, those horses in bad shape were new arrivals to her farm? I’m aware she has many horses under her care, and each time when I’ve visited, she’s had other helpers there. Perhaps that day, her help did not show up for some reason?

    As I said, I hope that a thorough investigation happens and Sharon’s name is redeemed. It really is a shame to see someone who has devoted her entire life to healing animals have a devastating article like this published about them.

    I felt I had to write with my thoughts, as Sharon has always been so caring and helpful with my dog. Thank you for reading.


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