Thursday, September 12, 2013

Clintonville Horses FAQ

 The Clintonville neglect case involves 5 horses (3 mares and 2 stallions) located at a rental property off of HWY 45 near Clintonville, WI. Malnourished and without shelter, these horses had been receiving no farrier or vet care. They were owned by Barbara J. Thiry, the resident of a government-subsidized apartment in Clintonville. The horses were kept alive by volunteers who donated their own hay whenever possible. Complaints to the Waupaca Co Sheriff's Dept accomplished little. After the hard work of many volunteers, the horses are now in the care of the county, where we hope they will be safe. The following links chronicle the later parts of this multi-year neglect case.  Skip past the "update" links to read more on each page.

There is a photo gallery at the bottom.

Investigation of Barb Thiry's decades-long history of animal hoarding and neglect is ongoing. At this time, she has been charged with 15 counts of Animal Mistreatment, Failing to Provide Food & Shelter.

Update 12/23/13:

Great news!! Three of the five horses seized from Thiry in September have been rehabilitated by the Dane County Humane Society and are available for adoption! Lady, Ruby and Rebecca have gained a tremendous amount of weight and are much healthier and happier now. I very much hope that any doubters out there will now recognize that these horses were NOT thin "just because they're old/sick" (lame and utterly wrong excuses) but because of the awful neglect they experienced in Barb Thiry's hands. Lady in particular, a mare that was "too old" to gain weight, is doing so much better now.

The two stallions remain in foster care and may still be returned to Thiry after her trial is over, if she continues to pay the court for the cost of their upkeep. Thiry herself continues to deny that she ever did anything wrong. In an interview with the Clintonville Chronicle, she claimed, "I've been victimized by these bullies and then by the county who came and took my property and my animals." She has threatened to sue Waupaca County, has demanded the return of all of her horses by Christmas, and believes they are worth thousands of dollars each, despite their health issues and the advanced age of 3 of them. Read more about Barb Thiry's delusions here (scroll down a bit).


Update 11/13/13: Thiry was forced to give up her three mares, and is ordered to pay for the care of the two stallions while her trial continues. More info at this link.


Update 10/13/13:  See pictures of Barb Thiry's property in 2009 here. Warning: these disturbing images show unburied horse skeletons and other dead animals.

 Update 10/10/13: Barb Thiry Charged with 15 Counts of Animal Mistreatment, Failure to Provide Food & Shelter 

Update 9/24/12: "Never Forget"

The horses are going to a new home... but this case is not over.
Update 9/18/13: "What's That Smell?"
Waupaca cops failed to enforce their own abatement order.

 Waupaca cops issued an abatement order on 9/6/13.
UPDATE 9/9/2013: 

I visited the Clintonville horses today. The terribly thin palomino mare is looking a tiny bit better, thanks to the efforts of volunteers. The bare lot where they are kept is even more bleak than I thought. There is no shade for them in the blinding heat. Mary of Saint Francis Horse Rescue was interviewed by Channel 11 at the property, and the reporter seemed to be on the side of the horses. The reporter was unable to tell us when the segment might be aired, as she also wanted to interview more people. However, keep watching channel 11!

Barb Thiry showed up while we were all there. Thiry refused to be interviewed on camera, and several times claimed that we were trespassing (despite the fact that she does NOT own the property, and we had permission to be there). Mary of Saint Francis did get Barb to talk to her, and did her very, very best to nicely convince Thiry to give up her horses. Despite Mary's incredible politeness, respect and even sympathy (all the while gritting her teeth) Thiry says she WILL NOT give up ANY of the horses, saying "These horses are not starving," and that she refuses to "give in and let people steal her horses away from her." A volunteer then offered to BUY Thiry's horses. Thiry refused. Nevertheless, I am ending today in a hopeful mood. With the media involved, the property owner moving forward on an eviction, and the Waupaca Sherrif Dept making some semi-believable noises about progress, I think we will see something done by the end of the week. Fingers crossed!! Thiry gave us the name of a vet she said visited her horses with the Sherrif, so as soon as we confirm the name, we'll post it. We also got a picture of Thiry herself! 

 Update 9/7/13 Waupaca Cops Letting Horses Die (Updated X2) 
Original Story posted 9/3/13: Barb Thiry Neglect Case
Picture Gallery: 

3 of the Clintonville horses in 2011, when they were being cared for by a different landowner.

Palomino mare:

Brown mare with light mane & tail:

Stud colt:




173.07 Powers and duties of humane officers.
(1)Enforcement. A humane officer shall enforce s. 95.21, this chapter, chs. 174 and 951 and ordinances relating to animals enacted by political subdivisions in which the humane officer has jurisdiction under s. 173.03 (3).
(2)Investigation. A humane officer shall investigate alleged violations of statutes and ordinances relating to animals and, in the course of the investigations, may execute inspection warrants under s. 66.0119.
(3)Seek subpoenas. A humane officer may request the district attorney for the county to obtain subpoenas to compel testimony and obtain documents in aid of investigations.
(4)Issue citations. If authorized by the appointing political subdivision, a humane officer shall issue citations under s. 66.0113 for violations of ordinances relating to animals.
(4m)Request prosecutions. A humane officer may request law enforcement officers and district attorneys to enforce and prosecute violations of state law and may cooperate in those prosecutions. 
951.13. Providing proper food and drink to confined animals
No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may fail to supply the animal with a sufficient supply of food and water as prescribed in this section. (1) Food. The food shall be sufficient to maintain all animals in good health.
(2) Water. If potable water is not accessible to the animals at all times, it shall be provided daily and in sufficient quantity for the health of the animal.

951.14. Providing proper shelter

No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may fail to provide the animal with proper shelter as prescribed in this section. In the case of farm animals, nothing in this section shall be construed as imposing shelter requirements or standards more stringent than normally accepted husbandry practices in the particular county where the animal or shelter is located.
(1) Indoor standards. Minimum indoor standards of shelter shall include:
(a) Ambient temperatures. The ambient temperature shall be compatible with the health of the animal.
(b) Ventilation. Indoor housing facilities shall be adequately ventilated by natural or mechanical means to provide for the health of the animals at all times.
(2) Outdoor standards. Minimum outdoor standards of shelter shall include:
(a) Shelter from sunlight. When sunlight is likely to cause heat exhaustion of an animal tied or caged outside, sufficient shade by natural or artificial means shall be provided to protect the animal from direct sunlight. As used in this paragraph, "caged" does not include farm fencing used to confine farm animals.
(b) Shelter from inclement weather. 1. Animals generally. Natural or artificial shelter appropriate to the local climatic conditions for the species concerned shall be provided as necessary for the health of the animal.


  1. Dear North Horse. I would like to thank you for your great organization. I wish you would have been here 10 yrs. Ago. I live North of New London on a 80 acre farm where my husband and I raise Angus beef. We had horses when we first moved here in 1965'Our daughter showed horses in 4-H and the open classes. She has many trophies. About 10 years ago when I would go for a walk I noticed the farmer North of us who had a lot of animals, including horses,donkeys,cows,calves,sheep, goats, chickens etc. I could see that the animals did not have much to eat or drink. We approached the farmer and he was very hostile. My friend and I would go by the farm and see cows dead in the pasture. We finally got tried of seeing these animals in distress so we called the sheriff`s department and they would go out to the farm and tell the farmer to feed his animals and bury the dead ones. He kept doing the same thing. We could get no one to help us. I talk to the town chairman and he didn't see anything wrong. I even called the state humane officer and she wouldn't get involved. I kept a log of each time we saw anything and even took pictures. I still have them today. The farmer still has a lot of ponies with foals and cows with calves but he harassed us and threatened us so we gave up. Thank you for caring and am so happy to have met you via FB.

    1. You are very welcome, and thank YOU for caring as well. I too wish I had been around ten years ago help with that terrible situation!

  2. I saw these horses today , not close up but these horses are not cared for , yes she was there with a bucket and it didnt look like there wasnt enough in that bucket to feed a animal at all . The pictures dont do even come close to pictures . I am just sickened that someone coukd do this ! I didnt even see where a water supply tank is