Maryland Polish Arabian Breeder Charged With 133 Counts of Neglect Will Have 63 Horses Returned

Today, Monday, February 27, 2012, the Queen Anne’s County Department of Animal Services (QA Animal Control) entered into an agreement with Marsha Parkinson that authorizes the return of 63 horses.

During the last week of April 2011, QA Animal Control, with the assistance of the Humane Society of the United States and the logistical coordination of Days End Farm Horse Rescue, seized or euthanized 140 Polish Arabian Horses located on Parkinson’s Canterbury Farm in Centreville, Maryland; the horses were considered to be in various stages of neglect. Parkinson approved the euthanasia of some of the horses, so the State only charged her with neglect for the remaining 133 cases.

In return for pleading no contest to 10 counts of neglect, and for signing an agreement that allows QA Animal Control to continue to monitor the horses for one year, Parkison will be able to collect 63 horses, while relinquishing ownership of the remaining horses.

The agreement includes the following stipulations:

Parkinson will likewise spend the 12 months on a probationary status. If she violates her probationary status or violates the terms of the agreement, Judge John Nunn warned her that he can immediately invoke the stiffest penalties possible: a $1,000 fine per count (or $10,000) and 90 days in jail per count (for a total of 900 days of incarceration).

Immediately following the acceptance of the agreement by the court, Parkinson’s attorney, Jonathan P. Kagan, released the following statement:

“On April 29, 2011, Queen Anne’s County Animal Control (“Animal Control”) with the assistance of the Humane Society of the United States (“HSUS”), conducted a warrantless seizure of 133 Polish Arabian horses… The State then charged Ms. Parkinson with 133 counts of misdemeanor animal neglect. Ms. Parkinson has always denied the charges of any type of neglect and that none of her horses were ever suffering nor in any danger. Ms. Parkinson maintains that the seizure of all the horses by Animal Control and HSUS, a private non-profit organization, is illegal.

Don Henneke, PhD., Director of Equine Science at Tarleton State University in Texas, was prepared to testify as an expert for the defense. Dr. Henneke developed the Body Conditioning Scare for horses that is used internationally. It is frequently referred to as the “Henneke Scale.” Dr. Henneke reviewed the evidence and in his professional opinion, HSUS and its rescue partners (the groups responsible for the seizure) “showed a complete lack of understanding” in the application of the equine body condition scale as applied to Ms. Parkison’s horse and “exhibited extreme bias.” He concluded that “the charges of neglect against Ms. Parkinson were not warranted. The horses should not have been removed from her control and custody.”

Under the agreement, The State dismissed 123 counts, and Ms. Parkinson pled “no contest” to 10 counts of “failing to provide adequate shelter.” The court struck all ten counts and entered a probation before judgment, which is not a conviction on any of the counts.  Ms. Parkinson will eventually apply to the court to expunge the record of the 10 misdemeanor counts not dismissed…”

It should be noted that this statement was prepared prior to the actual courtroom hearing. During the hearing, the judge refused to hear details regarding the neglect charges, noting that since Parkinson was pleading no contest to “misdemeanor neglect,” there was no reason to elaborate on that in the court, therefore, Parkinson could not have pled “no contest” to “failure to provide adequate shelter,” only to “neglect.” It should also be noted that, with this plead of “no contest” and this agreement, she gets only 63 horses returned, not all the horses.

It should likewise be noted that, in order to have her record expunged, according to State’s Attorney Lance Richardson, the Parkinson will have to meet all the terms of the agreement and then wait for three years after her probation ends before filing a request to have her record expunged; in other words, it will be a minimum of 4 years before the 67 year old horse breeder will be able to file the request.

That being said, it remains unclear whether or not the county really did have the authority to seize all the horses.  It is possible that it is a matter of interpretation of Maryland code. (Our readers should try to remember that legal authority and what is permissible by law is not the same thing as what may or may not be morally or ethically right or wrong.) Parkinson contends that the county did not have the legal authority for the seizure:

“They (Animal Control and HSUS) had no basis to take my horses and I should have never been charged. HSUS saw an opportunity to grab headlines and raise significant money in order to further their own agenda at my expense… Although I would have liked to have had my day in court to prove my innocence of the false allegations and rumors of cruelty and abuse, I am happy to get my horses back and move on with my life on the farm.”

After court, representatives from HSUS refused to answer any questions, stating that  contrary to Parkison’s assertions – the role of the HSUS has been to merely assist QA Animal Control, at the request and invitation of QA Animal Control, with handling the animals. Later, HSUS Public Information Officer Jordan Crump supplied the following official statement:

The Humane Society of the United States, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, and several other Maryland horse rescue groups assisted in the removal of 133 horses seized by Queen Anne’s County Animal Services from Marsha Parkinson in April of last year and over the last ten months we have seen them thrive under our care.  Although we are deeply disappointed in the outcome of the criminal case against Parkinson, we are also enormously grateful to the Queen Anne’s County Animal Services Director, Dave MacGlashan and State’s Attorney Lance Richardson for their tireless and expert work in this important case. 

Queen Anne’s County is clearly committed to enforcing Maryland’s animal protection laws. The court-ordered oversight of Parkinson will help ensure that horses will not suffer in violation of the plea agreement or the law. In the meantime, everyone involved in the care of the horses is comforted that a majority of them will be surrendered to the County and we will be able to begin placing them in new, happy homes. 

The outpouring of support from the Maryland horse community for these animals has been tremendous and we are so grateful to all the farms, veterinarians, farriers, dentists, and feed suppliers who contributed their resources, time, and expertise to help these animals.

Neither the prosecution nor the defense apparently were willing to risk a trial. Richardson noted that even if the State were to have prevailed in court this week, Parkison surely would have appealed and the case could have been tied up for years. As a result, the horses legal ownership status would have continued in limbo for possibly years, making it impossible to re-home or adopt the horses until the case was finally settled, possibly years from now. Richardson believes that it is in the best interest of the horses to achieve a settlement sooner rather than later, and is satisfied that Parkison pled “no contest” to some of the charges.

For Parkinson, her post-court statement indicated that she too wished to avoid a protracted legal battle: “Without an agreement…the case could have spent years in the system before it was resolved. Ms. Parkinson understood it was best to not continue the court battle.”

Clearly our readers will have more questions than this post can answer. Already the internet is vibrating with speculation, rumors, and accusations. The Equiery will do its best to bring you as much verified information as possible and to accurately and factually answer as our readers’ questions.

*********

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please forgive any proofreading errors, as they are a result of attempting to post this information to our readers quickly.

The Equiery welcomes comments and letters to the editor. Comments and letters do not immediately appear online, but will be reviewed by the editor and publisher for appropriateness and will be considered for either online posting or printing in an upcoming print issue, or both. The Equiery reserves the right to edit comments or letters that are published in print or online.

Comments

Let’s celebrate justice served and accept that this was a wrongful seizure.

Just read Dr. Henneke’s evaluation of the pictures, videos and bloodwork taken of the Canterbury horses by DEFHR and animal control. He is one of the most respected professionals in the animal nutrition and health field…I’ll take his assessment over any other any day of the week.

Thanks for the update on this case.

I am horrified this woman could get horses back in her “care”…did anyone look at these horses that were not in danger? Neglect is an understatement for what she claims was adequate care. Several horses had to be euthanized because of their dire state. I spend so many days volunteering I was asked if I was moving into the barn. How many have to die for it to be dangerous to have her responsible for the care of trusting animals? It is a very sad day for all who truly love horses and don’t see them as “baby makers for profit”. She isn’t allowed to breed these horses for a year? Has she gone through any education programs so she knows how to take care of these horses? I am frightened for the horses.

My interest would be to find out what was presented to Dr Henneke. I believe I will write to him myself to find out if he actually saw photos of the horses that had to be put down. Or pictures of some of the mares that were in body scores of 2 and 3 (yes on the Henneke scale). Who presented him with what information to have him come to this conclusion? How did someone of his standing become so misled to come to this conclusion? What was involved?? I feel it is my duty, having utilized his body score chart for years, in an instructional capacity, to make sure that the industry knows just what he has done here.

Edna if you discover what Dr Henneke had to go on to base his conclusions, I would be interested to hear that. It appeared to me that he based his entire ‘brief’ on the information the defense provided as it was obviously one sided and not terribly objective.
I am sad this woman gets these horses back after she very clearly shared that she was overwhelmed and unable to financially provide for them prior to the seizure. I understand she sold some land and thus had $$ for her defense, but will not assume that means there is any left over for the horses care.
I wonder about the ‘prohibited from breeding horses for one year’ stipulation. Horses gestation is 11 months, if she were to cover a mare in April the foal would not be born until next March, and would until late in the pregnancy be hard to detect. How will they enforce that rule?

This turns my stomach. I was at a farm where some of those Arabians were brought, and they were in deplorable shape. They were very thin, you could see every rib. They WERE starving. Their feet were overgrown and untrimmed. Their manes and tails were so knotted, we had to cut the knots out of some of them. Their teeth had not been floated, and they had sharp points. Their coats were dull and covered with rain rot. They had not been handled or gentled, they were half-wild. These were mares from about 3 – 10 years old, in that condition. We all spent hours and hours just getting them to accept human contact. This woman is despicable, and I don’t care what she claims or what Dr. Henneke was paid off to allege in court, I SAW the horses with my own eyes. They were starving. They were neglected. This is a disgrace.

I think Edna Morris has a very good point! I think Dr.Henneke should show the pictures he was shown so he can clear his name. I think maybe their may have been a photo mix up because I am familiar with his body scoring and something went very wrong there!!

Did Dr. Henneke SEE THOSE PHOTOS??? I did, and I am not a “professional”, as he is stated to be. My vet fostered several…they were skin and bones upon arrival! Seems all of us “suckers” fattened up her emaciated horses for her – free of charge, huh? Now, I may safely say, I have seen EVERYTHING!!! I write GREAT letters to the editor. I held an event to raise $5000.00 for her horses, worked tirelessly, and took time away from my own family & horses. I do hope she sees fit to send me a Thank You! SMH…

Currently composing a letter to the editor for EVERY publication in my area…people should know she will be “caring” (or, not) for 63 horses who have ALREADY suffered greatly, by her own hand. God be with these poor horses…I hope none of them are Stallions or Mares in foal. But we’ll be WATCHING. Ready to swoop in AGAIN…WHEN she repeats the same thing…and she WILL. Mark my words…

I am appalled that this happened. S. Pariso did you even look at the pics here? I mean…pics to me are proof that over Dr. Henneke’s testimony. I mean..are you blind?

And the poor folks at Days End who put their heart and soul into taking care of these horses for OVER eight months to get them back to their proper weight and health.

I have been a volunteer at Days End for over 12 yrs and have seen these horses first hand! Needless to say..I myself will be making a visit to the farm to make sure they are ok. I need to know myself.

I think I’ll stick with the blood profiles as photos can be manipulated or altered quite easily. Fat, thin, starving, obese are all subjective terms. True starvation will be indicated in the bloodwork. Dr. Heneke is the foremost authority on his grading system which has been grossly misinterpreted subjectively in many instances. This case being one of them. From photos I have seen, I have yet to see a true 1 on the Heneke Grading Scale. Evidently, Dr. Heneke did not see one either and that is backed up by the bloodwork – objective evidence.

To HorseLover, given the stresses those horses were put under physically and psychologically, I am not surprised that you had difficulty getting near them. I would have been very leary of human intentions had I been ripped away from the familiar safety of my pasture, my herdmates, subjected to a multitude of scarey and confusing noises, chased, helicopter overhead, loaded up into a dark cave that moves and emits frightening noises, hauled to who knows where to be unloaded at a place that is not familar and again scarey. MAJOR TRAUMA! Those horses that have NEVER traveled would be the most affected. And the potential for injuries, of which I’m sure happened, was high under the circumstances. Cortisol levels off the charts! Why would a horse having been subjected those stressors subject themselves to human contact before settling into the new surroundings? Unrealistic human expectations brought about by the lack of understanding the horse as a prey animal.

Many terms used in animal cruelty cases are subjective, left up to interpretation, not universally applicable. There is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes equine shelter. Person A thinks it’s cruel unless you bring a horse into a stall every night. Person B thinks it’s cruel to keep a horse in a stall and prefers a run-in shed. Person C lets the horses run in the fields and mountains seeking shelter in nature for 2-3 years before rounding them up and breaking them to saddle. Person D thinks that 16 degrees fahrenheit is too cold for a horse with ample winter coat to keep warm consequently blanketing and bringing into a stall. Anything else in person D’s mind would be cruel. Reasonable and stardard of care are two terms commonly thrown around. Again, subjective terminology that varies greatly within the horse owning world.

There is also a great misunderstanding of equine anatomy and physiology as it pertains to the aging horse and the variability between the breeds. An older horse can be perfectly healthy for its age and yet be classified by the less knowledgable as an abuse case. Don’t be surprised if that 30+ year old doesn’t have the body shape of a 5 year old. There are reasons for that and a majority of them have nothing to do with lack of care. The questions should then focus on the quality of life of the individual horse. Is this horse still enjoying life? Is this horse capable of moving around without extreme pain? Is this horse able to eat some sort of food? Or is this horse’s body shutting down like Grandma did in the nursing home before she went comatose and died? There were some old grandmas on that farm and unfortunately, they have been used as fodder to fuel emotions unjustly.

This entire case wreaks of abuse of the system. A subject that is not in the best interest of horse owners or legitimate rescues. This is not the first case of abuse of power nor will it be the last, unfortutnately. Owners need to take notice or old grandma out in the field near the road won’t be able to live out her life in peace, but will become the open door to a horse owner’s nightmare. You laugh? It won’t happen you say? It already has and more than once.

I do not understand the rebellion/ denial against the truth that is now being released albeit a very reluctant main stream media. ( no sensationalism equates to no ratings or monetary donations )

Put YOU first.

What does DEHR say about the photos thrown out due to evidence tampering? Why does a rescue strongly supported by this magazine have to lie to the court to justify “the largest seizure in the states history”? Why did they tell those grading the horses not to score higher than 3? Marsha Parkinson has been cleared of her charges, but DEHR has a lot of answering left to do. If anyone is angry, point your fingers in the right direction.

Here is a quote from Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue on facebook. Maybe you can use this in your next headline:

The only reason I would have passed is because our generous donors, who have footed every dime of the care of the Arabs we have custody of didn’t donate their hard earned dollars only to have a wimpy ass States Attorney accept a lame plea deal. Not because of any “restitution” from Ms. Parkinson. Come on- lets get real. She couldn’t afford to feed her god damned horses, have their feet trimmed, or even scrub a slimy water tub. Why would ANYONE think she had any money to take???

The other thing to note is that while Hennekes report says he sees no horses in need of eminent danger, and only a few who appear to be a BCS of 2-3… everything one reads about his BCS scale says to accurately BCS you MUst have your hands on the horse. Does Henneke have some super power that I have never heard of that he could touch those horses from as far away as Texas?
I think Hennekes report is BS.

Anyone owning Arabians know they are not easy keepers and will appear thin to the average person. The same goes with certain breeds of dogs such as sighthounds.

BASICALLY….. Keep your noses on YOUR side of the fence. Keep shoveling YOUR money out to the HSUS and see where you are when they turn on you. Until YOU have dealt with HSUS and their witch hunts… don’t assume you know it all.

A prosecutor does not pursue a case such as this, with 133 charges, with the enormous cost to the county for providing for the care of the horses, and then the day before trial dismiss 123 counts UNLESS he has good reason to believe that he will lose. The very small number – 10 counts – appears to suggest that he acknowledged he may lose the entire case if he went forward. It’s that simple. Prosecutors use state money and state resources to prosecute crimes. The personally lose nothing but the “case.”. There is no doubt that the prosecution ALWAYS has an advantage over the defense. This was clearly a salvage attempt on behalf of the prosecutor to not allow the defense a complete victory, so he struck a deal where he saved some face and refuted the appearance of wasting all those tax payer dollars on a case he could not win. In the end, I think Lance Richardson was duped by DEFHR and I suspect he will think twice about trusting any information coming from them.

Sometimes lawyers don’t need a judge to point out the evidentiary problems their case has – they find them on their own and adjust accordingly. Here, Lance Richardson was presented with a wealth of evidentiary problems on the eve of trial – including evidence that was altered regarding the condition of the horses. He did what any good lawyer would do – he salvaged what he could. That he dropped 123 counts should tell you something.

It’s very obvious that the ACO and the rescues involved were wrong. Amongst other things, there is a lot of talk that some of the photos (evidence) they turned over were from other rescues they’d done (not this one), as well as many were digitally “enhanced”.

Recent vet findings have found several of the horses possibly in worse condition, and many are at real risk of founder from being massively overfed the wrong type of feed for them.

I personally witnessed the horrendous condition these horses were in the day they were seized. Their teeth were so bad many couldn’t eat properly (not that they had anything to eat) their hooves were incredibly overgrown many had what we call slipper feet which takes a lot of neglect to cause this condition. They had lice, their coats were awful due to lack of proper nutrition they were not able to shed as they should, the majority of them were so terribly under weight and they were full of worms. Most of the horses were very feral, in just a few months the upkeep and rehabilitation cost around a million dollars. When grain was first introduced most of them didn’t know what it was. This is not the first offense by this owner there were charges brought up in california that has since been expunged. From my understanding Dr. Henneke actually never saw the horses and the pictures he saw were after they had been seized for 3 months. This is incredibly sad, I will be saying prayers for these horses.

“This is not the first offense by this owner there were charges brought up in california that has since been expunged.”

What is your source for that statement?

Dear Editor:

My name is Craig Paul and the purpose of this e-mail is to provide clarification to some of the misrepresentation of the facts concerning the seizure in April 2011 of Canterbury Farms animals and property, which I have observed on the Internet and local media. I will only speak to my personal observations and the statements here are mine alone. I do not speak for Marsha Parkinson. Not all information known to me will be provided in this e-mail and the sole purpose of this e-mail is to provide clarification for those in the breeding industry who have been following this case and have been ill served by the media and blogs who, in my belief, have provided a very one sided version of the events.

For the purposes of full disclosure, I will submit that 6 of our horses were seized from the farm. I was present during the delivery of hay on April 15th and later during the day of the second seizure. I was also present a week prior to the seizure and observed the conditions and horses during that visit. I was also present during the repleven hearing and have assisted her in the recovery of some of her horses.

I took it upon myself, although I know Marsha to be an extremely honest and forthright individual, to research what she had indicated to me. I researched the Humane Society of the United States (which I knew nothing about prior to this seizure) and the laws of Maryland (as they had seized 6 of our horses). Based on my training and experience (you are more than welcome to look me up online [google “Detective Craig Paul”] to see where that basis comes from) in the legal system, I have not spoken out until the criminal case was resolved.

During the winter of 2009-2010, Marsha had indicated that she was having difficulty finding “good” hay locally. As we had been having hay delivered from upstate New York, I was not familiar with the severe shortage of hay in the area. We are a small breeding farm, breeding since the seventies, and have recently moved to Virginia from upstate New York. I told Marsha that I would do some checking to see if I could find decent hay locally, though as it was winter and most had already been purchased.

Unable to find local hay at a reasonable price, I located a hay dealer who transported excellent quality alfalfa from the Finger Lakes region of New York (this is the same “substandard hay” I have read about in the blogs as being on her farm the date of the seizure, the same hay that Dr. Forney (the vet who testified at Marsha’s repleven hearing) told me was exactly what the horses needed. In my opinion, there was sufficient hay on the farm to carry her through until the pastures came back. As far as the conditions of the horses, I would submit that none of the horses (in my opinion, nor in any vet’s opinion that I know of on the date of the seizure) met the state requirements for seizure. She had been given in writing an agreement that she had 30 days to make improvements. Marsha had completed 12 of the 14 items listed, yet a massive warrantless seizure took place at 13 days into the Compliance Order. This decision to seize was made by Mr. David MacGlashan, Director of Queen Anne’s County Animal Control, “MacGlashan said he believed if he waited 30 days there would be more horses that couldn’t be rehabilitated.” (http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/17815/MD/US/) Based on that statement, Mr. MacGlashan could have simply applied for and obtained a court order, clearly the statement does not show exigency.

As far as the euthanasia of several of Marsha’s older mares during the initial day of seizure, my understanding is that Marsha indicated she wanted to speak to an attorney and was told by a Queen Anne’s Deputy Sheriff that if she attempted to call an attorney, she would be arrested and jailed immediately. I was not present during this exchange, but I can assure you that Marsha was forced to make decisions under extreme duress and that if she had an opportunity to contact counsel, perhaps those horses would be alive today. Further, “MacGlashan had testified earlier the scoring was done by two representatives from Days End Farm Horse Rescue The original plan that day, April 29th, was to remove any horse scoring a 3 or below on the Henneke body scoring chart, he said.” (http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/17815/MD/US/). My recollection is the HSUS representative, Stacey Segal, was directing the entire seizure in lieu of a veterinarian or MacGlashen, who admitted that he knew nothing about horses.

Based on Dr. Henneke’s statement, none of the horses met the criteria of being removed and none should have been seized that day. (http://www.bkglawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/HENNEKE-REPORT.pdf.) Now I am reading in some of the blogs that Dr. Henneke must have been paid off. This disturbs me to no end, that a person as distinguished as Don Henneke would be disparaged simply for giving his expert, honest opinion when his BCS was used as the entire basis for the seizure in the first place. It is clear to me that when one chooses to speak the truth, they are attacked with vitriolic criticism as I am sure will be the response to this e-mail and my personal character. It does not bother me, those who know me know I have spent my entire adult life protecting the innocent and it is their opinions of me that matter. I will submit, this is not about me, this is about how this occurred in the first place, and a call to action to prevent it from happening again.

The rescues would have you believe that every horse seized was in dire condition. Please refer to the following link to see the condition of animals seized that they have not posted on their websites and blogs (http://www.bkglawfirm.com/2012/02/horse-photos-from-the-day-of-the-seizure-at-marsha-parkinsons-farm/)

Note: The images on the website are from the dates of seizure and the video Dr. Henneke refers to in his summation are from HSUS/QAC and the rescues which were provided as a result of discovery (Part of the pre-trial litigation process during which each party requests relevant information and documents from the other side in an attempt to “discover” pertinent facts)

We got our six horses back after 2 months of haggling with Queen Anne’s County and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and now I will speak to our six horses. Queen Anne’s County and HSUS (QAC/HSUS) initially refused to allow us access to our animals, to know where the animals were located, to have our vet examine any of the animals, and required us to retain counsel at significant cost to us before we could even examine our horses. Upon examination, we observed one of our mares with a crushed sinus, another mare with severe swelling and injury to a stifle, a mare with a lacerated cornea, and other horses with significant injuries which were caused due to the negligent handling of the rescues under the supervision of QAC/HSUS. I observed young horses driven into fences, overdriven to the point of exhaustion and collapse, and forced into stock trailers. I observed fillies and mares put untethered into stock trailers with breeding aged colts (all in the name of “saving” these animals).

I know that during the seizure, feed was removed from the farm with the accompanying statement that “she won’t need it”, fences were torn down and left laying, and other property, halters, leads, etc. taken without permission and there was complete disregard as to Marsha’s property. I was there, I saw it happen. I was told by a Queen Anne’s County Reserve Deputy that I was not to interfere and was only allowed to be inside the house with Ms. Parkinson.

I went to the websites after the seizure and saw each of these rescues begging for donations, citing ridiculous amounts to care for these animals and was outraged. It was clear at that moment that this entire seizure was agenda driven. These “rescues” thought Ms. Parkinson would be unable to provide an adequate defense and they would simply take over the horses, charge absurd restitution and force “criminal” charges as well as drive her into bankruptcy with only her property left, which could be taken with a lien for unpaid restitution. There was also a real estate agent amongst the 75 people who descended on Parkinson at the time of seizure, and she wanted to see inside the home. Then HSUS/DEFHR, after this completing this destruction, would just then move to the next breeding farm. It is apparent as I read in the blogs, that even though the charges have been dropped, Marsha should still be responsible to pay for the care of these animals; animals that should have never been seized in the first place, even when she has NO convictions. Is it really about the horses or the potential money realized in the seizure of these significant animals?

I think it an extremely prudent business decision for Marsha to accept her counsel’s sage advice to accept the offer given by QAC. It gave her the opportunity to cull her herd and take back the best of her breeding to move forward without a conviction. The significant legal costs we incurred simply to “get back what was ours” would be miniscule compared to what Marsha would have paid to have ultimately prevailed only to not have anything left with which to take care of her animals.

HSUS maintains the position that horses are companion animals (http://www.humanesociety.org/about/departments/equine_protection.html) and are not livestock. This has significant legal ramifications for breeders. It is my belief HSUS saw a potential opportunity. They saw Marsha Parkinson as an “easy” target. They along with Queen Anne’s County saw an opportunity for a significant media blitz and to grab headlines. They took every opportunity to speak to the media and make statements which would have never stood in the light of a courtroom. They knowingly destroyed the excellent name of a reputable breeder, took away her livelihood for a year, destroyed her farm and stole her property. Please do not get me wrong, I am NOT anti-rescue. I am pro Constitution.

I wish to make clear that the purpose of this e-mail is to make people in the industry aware of what has occurred in the past and will continue to occur as long as we allow.

Attention breeders – you could be next!

Craig R. Paul
Dry Brook Arabians, LLC

Craig R. Paul, you sure do get around! E-mail? Forum post? Facebook? Reader comment section? You have been a busy little beaver lately.

Thank you for posting Mr. Paul’s letter.

I have been waiting for a reliable source to present a bit of the other side. This story has been so one-sided.

Again, thank you Equiery.

Wait, if HSUS was only an advisor, why did their equipment and volunteers perform the seizure? Why didn’t they “advise” Queen Anne’s to get a warrant? It would have been easy IF the allegations are even partially true. Will HSUS give the money they raised publicizing this case to DEFHR and GG? Those are the people who cared for these animals regardless of the case results.

I’m way behind on this case, however, speaking from a law enforcement standpoint, plea deals in these kinds of cases are the norm. It is not unusual for some charges to be dropped, even in human cases, in fact it happens all the time. Just because they are dropped does not mean they are not true. The ammount of money that would be spent on a lengthy trial for the same outcome that a plea brings is not worth it to the taxpayers. Not everyone is an animal lover, and some would say, they are just horses. It takes a tremoundous ammount of time to present a case of this magitude, and until it is complete the horses are held as evidence, and cannot, (or should not,) go to their forever new homes. That is tough on a potential adopter. If I had my way, anyone who treats an animal like that should never be allowed to own another horse, would have to do community service connected to a barn where they would have to clean and scrub and learn the correct way to care for the animals. On the other hand, putting this defendant in jail, does no one any good, and again costs the taxpayers more money. It might make everyone feel better, but it does not re-habilitate, you don’t learn to care by being in jail. A year of supervision does not seem long enough and I hope anyone who is connected with her helps with checking on conditions of the returned horses, and acts swiftly if there is a need. If one cannont afford to feed horses, they should consider selling them or giving them away. They deserve to be loved and taken care of. Of course this is just my opinion, but, I have seen many creulty cases slip through the cracks and not even go court, no one suffers but the poor animals. Sometime the media attention is the way to bring attention to cases of this size.

This same exact, exact thing happened to me, and the horses and equipment were all stolen . The hearing was a frameup, the judge wasn’t interested in the truth, and my horses except one were in grade 4-6 body condition. Iit was a conspiracy to ruin my vet practice and a long standing, carefully put together breeding program with very rare lines. Who was her attorney? And I should contact He.nneke too. Same year. For no reason. There was no remediation or a way to fix whatever their stupid issues were. This is mandated by our laws here. I have video of our horses on their seizure day and I was told the same things I went through and still have post traumatic stress disorder because of this. I was under such duress that I lost my husband because of it. In. My case the deputy put out an email looking for homes for my horses before they even seized them, and a DEPUTY KEPT MY HORSE as loot even though the vet who testified for me verified every bit of data I gave.. I do not and will never trust law enforcement in this county again. They lie, cheat, steal . And there is no way to make them accountable. 20 years of a program destroyed irreplaceable horses. One very valuable to the program was let starve to death in their care. Otherswere in atrociouscondiition and had scars on their faces from too tight a halter being left on.

Leave a comment