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 the horses, their overall condition has improved. They are at various rescue locations where they are receiving all appropriate and necessary veterinary care. The Wicomico County Humane Society continues to monitor their progress and appreciates all the community’s support and concern.”
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