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 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
The thinnest horse in the Clintonville case, Lady the palomino mare, has been moved to the property of a third party, NOT vet Peter Drehmann. Apparently this man talked to Barb and offered to give all of her horses a good home. The next horse is scheduled to be moved today, and they will all go to this new place. As soon as I know more details, I will post them here.
We're not sure whether Barb will still technically own the horses or not. We're not sure whether this new guy is awesome or an enabler. We do know he already has horses. We do know that Barb is a lifetime animal hoarder, and will probably get more animals at some point. And so while the Clintonville neglect case has hit a wall, we must remain vigilant. THESE HORSES WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.
And no, we can't rely on the cops to do that. Barb Thiry left behind unburied horse carcasses at the Kewaunee property she was evicted from in 2003, including two horse heads in a trailer. (Waupaca Sheriff's Dept has pictures of this and testimony from the person that cleaned up the farm.) Barb Thiry has left a trail of horrific neglect wherever she's gone, and has never been stopped by the authorities. That's why it's up to us. I will keep posting more info and pics on Thiry whenever I get a chance.
The good news is, the Clintonville horses have gained weight in the past two weeks, thanks to public pressure. Lady in particular is no longer on the brink of death. The horses are at a well-intentioned horse owner's property, and I hope and believe they won't starve this winter. Waupaca Sheriff Brad Hardell even claimed that vet Peter Drehmann recently did the horses' teeth and hooves. The media is very, very aware of this case, and so is the rest of Waupaca county's citizens, so hopefully Thiry will not easily get away with such neglect again. Clearly this is not a victory-- but it is an improvement.
For that, I have to say THANK YOU to some people from the bottom of my heart:
- To Tracy K, whose work keeping everyone updated was absolutely essential. She endured a lot.
- To Mary H, who never stopped fighting, and never will.
- To Laura T, Becky and many others who helped beyond measure.
- To YOU, readers, who called, emailed and networked.
This case will NOT be forgotten. I need you to remember it, and to be prepared to lend your help again when it is needed.
Speaking of remembering..."Barb Thiry" is not the only name you should watch out for here in Wisconsin. There are many others you should be aware of. The following links will take you to blog posts or news stories on villains of the Wisconsin horse world. Some are just people with highly questionable ideas about horse care. Others are absolutely evil. If you know of a person or organization in Wisconsin other horse people should avoid, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your testimony should be first hand and include photo proof, OR contain news stories or arrest records. If you have a tip but no evidence, I will investigate but not necessarily publish what you have to say. Thanks for your help in protecting Wisconsin's horses and riders.
Villains of the Wisconsin Horse World
- Questionable Practices at Spirit Horse Rescue
- Michael T. Grant AKA Tim Grant, horse trainer & pedophile
- Sterling Rachwal, serial horse rapist & torturer
- Sketchy Rescue: Richland Area Rescue
- Don't Use Watertown Humane Society (not horse related)
- Cyndi Plasch
- Mary Loeffelholz
- Sean Janas
- Joan & Kathy Khoury
- Davie White and Paula Moctezuma: Pleasant Prairie Neglect Case
- Brandy Woolums
- Dunn County
- Crystal Marie Ackerman here and here
- Shannon Lassator (read all the comments)
- How to Investigate Someone (+ Sun'reh Rescue)
- Larry Heiman of Marshall WI -- starved, abused horses.
- Michele Macha. Not much hard proof, but I am personally 110% convinced you DO NOT want your horse (or ANY horse) around this woman! Sorry, no links at this time. Working on it.