“This just pisses me off! Pitiful sentence; anyone who can neglect such a regal & loyal animal as a horse…does not deserve the right to own & abuse another one…PERIOD!!! The fly mask was probably put on to obscure the severe skin ailment. It wasn’t just the hair loss, the horse was very skinny too; this poor horse must have been going mad through itching! BUT NO EXCUSE FOR LACK OF FOOD, THAT’S JUST CRUEL & LAZY!!”
“I could see her spine, hip bones and rib cage. Her entire body was covered with a severe skin ailment causing hair loss, crusty patches.”
Temecula, CA – A local couple who didn’t properly care for their mare have been sentenced to work release custody and probation in Riverside County Superior Court, officials said Tuesday.
According to to John Hall of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, 56-year-old Charity Wilson was convicted of the more severe charges of the duo, including felony animal cruelty and a misdemeanor of keeping an animal without proper care. Daryl Willliams, 51, was convicted of the same misdemeanor charge, but the jury was hung on the felony charge against him.
The case goes back to August 2013, when Riverside County Animal Services got word of a “skinny horse with a skin condition” at a property in the 44000 block of De Portola Road in the unincorporated Temecula area, according to John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
“I observed an emaciated chestnut-colored Arabian mare in a corral,” Riverside County Animal Services Sgt. Lesley Huennekens wrote in her declaration in support of an arrest warrant upon visiting the property. “I could see her spine, hip bones and rib cage. Her entire body was covered with a severe skin ailment causing hair loss, crusty patches of skin and stocking (swelling) up in her hind legs.”
Animal Services told the couple to get the horse examined by a veterinarian, but the woman told them she was treating the animal herself, Welsh said. ”
“Ultimately, the horse was relocated and proper veterinary records were never supplied to Riverside County,” he said. “The horse was later found in October 2013 at a Winchester property, and Riverside County seized the horse. The seizure was later ruled justified by a hearing officer.”
About a month later, on Oct. 24, 2013, the horse was euthanized and taken to a state lab for testing, according to Welsh. It was then that he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called pemphigus foliaceus.
“The horse was described as being in poor nutritional condition with a body score of 3.5 out of 9,” Welsh said. “The lab report indicated that her poor body condition was likely due to, at least in part, a consequence of the severe, often pruritic (itchy) and/or painful skin disease.”
“It was a shame that this horse went so long without medical care and deteriorated to the state where it needed to be euthanized,” Riverside County Chief Veterinarian Dr. Allan Drusys said.
According to the DA’s office, Wilson was sentenced to 120 days in a work release program and three years of formal probation. She is not allowed to own a horse for 10 years.
Williams was also sentenced to work release, for 90 days, the DA’s office said. He’s not allowed to own a horse for five years.
“We are pleased with the judge’s sentencing,” Huennekens said. “This couple never considered what was best for this poor horse. They tried to hide the horse from us – but we found her. Ending her suffering was a humane act, and seeing her abusers get convicted was a just conclusion to this sad case.”