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Category: Welfare: Neglect & Cruelty Cases

Rocky Ridge Woman Charged with Animal Cruelty

Earlier this week, Lara Marie Gosbee of Rocky Ridge in Frederick County was charged with eight counts of animal cruelty and eight additional counts of animal cruelty, failure to provide nutritious food in sufficient quantities. On April 12, Frederick County Animal Control officials were called to Mist Dreams Farm after receiving several complaints about dead horses being on the property. At the time, Gosbee told officials that she had intended to compost the horses but had not found the time. She later complied with officials and did compost the dead horses. The farm is owned by Gosbee’s mother Valerie Pickett. Gosbee surrendered the 12 living horses that were on the farm. These horses were taken to Days End Farm in Howard County and have been receiving rehabilitation care ever since arriving. According to Days End, two of the horses died shortly after arrival and an unborn foal died before birth. Two more foals were born at Days End. Caroline Robertson, development director at Day End, told the Frederick News Post that all surviving horses are out of rehabilitation and will soon be available for adoption. Gosbee is scheduled to appear at the Frederick County District Court on October 2. Each of the 16 misdemeanor counts carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and up to $1,000 in...

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Hebron Horse Owner Indicted for Animal Cruelty

On Friday, May 21, Barbara Pilchard of Hebron was indicted on animal cruelty and related charges by the Grand Jury of Wicomico County. The Pilchard investigation started on March 16 when dozens of dead horses were found on her farm. Over the course of a month, 98 live horses were removed from the property and placed in foster care with a variety of rescue organizations and individuals in Maryland and surrounding states. The Office of the State’s Attorney for Wicomico County announced last Friday that Pilchard, who is 74 years old, was charged with 16 felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and 48 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse and neglect. The indictment was issued as a criminal summons and Pilchard had her first appearance in Wicomico County Circuit Court last week, according to WBOC 16. According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, the state requested, and the court ordered as pretrial conditions, that Pilchard have no animals or livestock in her possession or under her control or responsibility. It was also ordered that she have no contact with the horses that were removed from her property. Last month, Pilchard did agree to surrender the horses to the care and custody of the rescue organizations and individuals who were fostering the horses. Wicomico County Humane Society Executive Director Aaron Balsamo released the following statement concerning the seized horses, “Since removal of...

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One Horse Left at Hebron Farm

One month ago, the saga surrounding over two dozen horses being found dead on a 100-plus acre farm outside of Hebron began and as of April 11, all but one of the live horses has been removed from the property. Wicomico County Animal Control was at the property again on April 10 to round up the remaining 10 horses and was able to catch all but one of them. According to Days End Farm Horse Rescue CEO Erin Ochoa, no charges have been filed as of April 11, however, the Wicomico County States Attorney visited DEFHR to see some of the Hebron horses that are being fostered there. The States Attorney’s office is gathering veterinarian reports and other evidence from all foster locations, which are spread out in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. DEFHR took 12 of the worse cases with one horse having to be euthanized shortly after arriving and a second horse being euthanized this past week. The total number of horses related to this case is still unknown since several of the mares are currently in foal and have yet to deliver. To read previous Equiery reports on this story, click the links below: 25+ Horses Found Dead in Wicomico Co (March 17, 2018) Update on Hebron Horses (March 20,...

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Update on Hebron Horses

On March 20, Lieutenant Tim Robinson of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office told The Equiery that no charges have been filed yet against the owners of the over two dozen horses that were found dead on the 100-plus acre farm located outside of Hebron last Friday. “We don’t want to rush into anything and several veterinarians that specialize in horses have been called to the farm to examine the remains for cause of death,” he stated. The case is officially an open investigation. Lt. Robinson went on to say that the priority of the Sheriff’s office at the time is to work with both the Wicomico County Animal Control and the Humane Society of Wicomico County to remove the horses from the property and begin the care they need. “A few have had to be euthanized due to extremely poor conditions and those have been taken for necropsies,” he added. The results of those have not been released as of press time. As soon as the story hit the airwaves, televisions, and internet on March 16, rescue groups and individuals from all over Maryland, as well as near-by states, stepped in to help. reported that the next morning, more than 5,000 lbs of grain had been delivered by a donation from Bryan & Brittingham, a farm supply store in Delmar, DE. Hay was also delivered by local dealers....

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25+ Horse Found Dead in Wicomico Co.

On the evening of Friday, March 16, WBOC 16 reported that the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into the presence of several dead horses at a farm in the 6000 block of Cherrywalk Road outside of Herbron. Lt. Tim Robinson of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office told WBOC 16 that, along with Wicomico County Animal Control, entered the property around 11am on March 16 after being notified about the deceased horses. Robinson reported that they found the remains of more than two dozen horses at various stages of decay. At this time, the causes of the deaths and how long each horse has been dead is under investigation. Sheriff Mike Lewis told WBOC 16 that his deputies had been called to the house on several occasions but not for this sort of situation. According to Sheriff Lewis, horses from this property have gotten loose dozens of times nearly causing several accidents on nearby roadways. He added that he did not recall any calls related to malnourished horses. According to WBOC 16, the property owner was previously fined in Wicomico County for multiple instances of littering. There are over 100 horses on the property. This most recent investigation may lead to charges, according to Sheriff Lewis. He told WBOC 16, “Absolutely.  Well certainly animal neglect, but it could be animal cruelty based on what our investigation finds out...

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Former Marylander Guilty of Cruelty & Embezzlement

First published in the January 2018 Equiery A little over two years ago, we reported on the October 26, 2015 arrest in Orange County, VA, of Anne Goland (a.k.a. Anne Shumate Williams) on 27 counts of animal cruelty after 7 horses were found dead, and 89 that were emaciated, on her property known as Peaceable Farm. According to Orange County Sheriff Mark Amos (as reported by NBC Channel 29), “What I saw was one of the most horrendous sights I’ve ever seen in 28 years of law enforcement.” Goland allegedly relocated horses to this farm from her Dickerson, Maryland, property after numerous complaints were made about her animals to Montgomery County authorities in early 2015. In November, Goland was found guilty on 22 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty; she was appealing the verdict. According to authorities, Goland ostensibly operated a for-profit breeding business in conjunction with the not-for-profit rescue known as Peaceable Farm. As a result of the cruelty charges, law enforcement expanded the scope of the investigation, eventually charging Goland with 13 counts of felony embezzlement from funds donated to help the horses. On December 7, Goland entered a plea agreement, pleading guilty to one count of felony embezzlement, with the other embezzlement charges were dismissed. As a result, Goland was sentenced to five years in jail, all of which were suspended. However, also as part of the...

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