Saturday, September 7, 2013

Waupaca Cops Letting Horses Die (Updated)

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: Barb Thiry has plead "not guilty." She has been forced to permanently give up three mares into the county's custody, and has been ordered to pay for the care of the two stallions while her trial continues. Click here to read more.
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.
Update 9/12/13: "Clintonville Horses FAQ"

 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!

The horses continue to be fed by volunteers allowed on the property by the landowner. Please DO keep contacting the media and Waupaca officials, letting them know that you want something done about this situation.

6 Things to Know Before Reading (UPDATED):
  • 1) Check out the "Save the Clintonville Horses" Facebook page
  • 2) DO NOT attempt to contact Barb Thiry, the owner of these horses. She may be mentally unsound, and she definitely DOES NOT want anyone's help. She can be nasty and threatening. Don't harass her either, as this will not help the horses, but it WILL give Waupaca officials another excuse not to follow up on this case.
  • 3) DO NOT trespass on the property, for ANY REASON. Volunteers are feeding and watering these horses and documenting exactly how much they give. If you drop off undocumented hay, the neglectful owner can claim SHE bought it. In addition, the owner of the property has only given permission for several specific volunteers to be on the land. Anyone else is trespassing, and could be arrested. Don't give Waupaca county an excuse not to listen to us-- stay legal! Finally, the horse owner, Barb Thiry, may be there and you do NOT want to confront her. Stay safe!
  • 4) DO contact officials! Scroll down to see a list of phone numbers and emails! 
  • 5) All hay in these pictures was donated by volunteers. These horses are not otherwise fed. There's no shelter out there either. This neglect has been going on for over 1 year according to neighbors.
 6) GO SIGN THIS PETITION: Waupaca County Sheriffs Department: Don't let these five neglected horses die!
Waupaca Cops Are Letting These Horses Die

Waupaca County Sheriff Brad Hardel and his crew are refusing to do anything about the terrible neglect of horses owned by Bary Thiry, currently boarded at N 9063 Highway 45 Clintonville, WI. What's worse is that Waupaca officials may even be purposefully lying about details in this case in order to save themselves the trouble of actually doing anything. 

 Mary Hetzel of Saint Francis Horse Rescue, who has dealt with neglect cases for decades, is in tears this weekend as she describes the duplicity of Wauapca County officers:

"Officer Rob Karsky originally told me that Al Prudom of Clintonville was one of the vets who had been out to see the horses and said they were OK. But Prudom said he'd never seen them. When I asked again which vet or vets had said these horses were OK, the cops wouldn't say. Sheriff Brad Hardell said several days later that a vet from Great Lakes would be coming out. We were so hopeful that a real horse vet would get to examine these horses. That never happened. Officer Karsky told me that instead, a vet from Great Lakes just talked to one of the previous vets over the phone, and based on that conversation, said the horses were OK."

Waupaca officials are using the reports from these mystery vets to justify their non-involvement in this case. In fact, they don't need a vet report to do something. Cops, District Attorneys and Animal Control Officers can certainly consult with civilian vets about the condition of animals... but the decision to pursue a case is entirely in their own hands. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read Wisconsin's State Statutes about the powers and duties of humane officers, as well as animal cruelty statutes related to this case. Or you can read all the statutes yourself, here.

One of the excuses floating around in this case is that at least one of the horses is so thin because of sickness. Some have said it's COPD ("heaves"). The general excuse is, "there is nothing more that can be done." This is bullshit for many reasons:
1) Heaves is very treatable.
2) If the mare is truly so severely sick, she should be euthanized, not allowed to continue suffering.
3) We have PROOF that these horses were doing very well only 2 years ago, when given enough food. Tracy K has come forward, saying that these horses used to be boarded on her property... and when they were there, they were just fine! Check out these pictures:

Palomino mare:

Brown mare with light mane & tail:

Stud colt:


It's clear that these horses just need BASIC CARE in order to be happy and healthy once again. All of them need hoof trimming, the older horses need their teeth floated, every horse needs to be wormed, and of course they need a regular source of food!! Oh, and have I mentioned GELDING? The stud colt continues to try to mate with both the emaciated palomino mare and the brown mare, one of which is his own mother. Yet Waupaca officials continue to insist that these horses are "fine." 

Look, I'm sure there are worse cases of neglect out there. Two of these horses could pass as "very lean," they're not skeletons... yet. The big word here is "YET." Two of these horses aren't doing too badly... YET. None of these horses are dead.... YET. Their hooves aren't completely overgrown slippers... YET. Winter is coming, we know the owner has a poor track record of care, and by the time these horses are so badly neglected that they are dying, it will be too late. The palomino mare is certainly close to death right now.

The farmer that owns the land where the horses are kept is trying to get Barb Thiry evicted. However, this doesn't guarantee that she won't just take these horses elsewhere. Even if she is legally evicted and doesn't move the horses, Waupaca officials would still have to agree to move forward with seizing the horses. We already know how "eager" they are to do that.

Call at LEAST TWO of these people TODAY and EVERY DAY and tell them that this is unacceptable!
Be polite, be firm, be persistent! 

Here's a script you can use:

"Hi, my name is _______, I'm contacting you about a case of animal neglect at N 9063 Highway 45 Clintonville, WI. Five horses there are in serious need of help. One is so thin, she looks like a walking skeleton. They all need vet care and hoof care. I know authorities have been involved, but they claim there is nothing they can do. This is unacceptable. I will continue to contact everyone I can. Please do something about this situation. Thank you."

Feel free to use ANY AND ALL the photographs on this blog or the Facebook page! 
 Send them, post them, share them! Thanks to Tracy, Vickey and Mary for these photos.

Waupaca County Sheriffs Department
1402 Royalton St  Waupaca, WI 54981
Also, why not post to their Facebook page?

Clintonville Chamber of Commerce
1 S Main St Clintonville, WI 54959
(715) 823-4606

Their Facebook page is here
Brian O'Keefe
Administrator for the
Division of Law Enforcement Services

Wisconsin Department of Justice
P.O. Box 7857
Madison, WI 53707-7857

Waupaca District Attorney John P. Snider
(715) 258-6444
The only one who can really make the decision to prosecute Thiry. 

David S. Matthews
Administrator of the Dept.of
Criminal Investigations


The Waupaca County Corporation Counsel
811 Harding St  Waupaca, WI 54981
(715) 258-6446
Call to complain about Jeanette Newell, Large Animal Control Officer. 

Jeanette Newell's direct line is 715-258-6457.
Her email is

5727 Tokay Blvd.
Madison, WI 53719
Switchboard: 608-274-1234
Newsroom: 608-273-2727 

Their Facebook page is here 

1391 North Road
Green Bay, WI 54313
Here's their Facebook page.

WMTV / nbc15
615 Forward Drive
Madison, Wi 53711
You can also try this form
OR tweet @nbc15_madison 

Clintonville Chronicle
10 N Main St / PO Box 30
Clintonville, WI 54929
(715) 823-7323
Their classified's Facebook page here

Manawa Messenger (715) 250-4330
328 S Bridge St  Manawa, WI 54949
Uses the same staff & email as the Clintonville Chronicle

Shawano Leader
1464 E. Green Bay St.
Shawano, WI 54166

(715) 526-2121 

P.O. Box 19011 

787 Lombardi Avenue
(920) 739-4311

1391 North Road
Green Bay, WI 54313
 Their Facebook page is here 

 Many, many thanks to Tracy, Vickey and Mary for their continued hard work on this case, for providing photographs, water hay for these poor horses, and phone numbers to call.



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. From the beginning when we became aware of this horrible case of neglect, St. Francis Horse Rescue has been ready, willing and able to take in these animals to rehab and rehome including the gelding of two studs. I urge everyone to keep calling the Waupaca County authorities listed and anyone else who can help these poor defenseless animals. Justice will be served but we have to ask WHEN.

    1. I have read several times on your website that were shutting down your rescue to be able to finally retire and NOT taking in new horses.... WHEN will you really be closing your doors to new horses?

    2. We will not be retiring any time soon. From the get go we said we still have horses to find good homes for (our adoptables) and we also have our retirees to care for. So, it was a long range plan and we are still looking down that road but there is no specific date we need to adhere to. The state needs MORE horse rescues to get up and running. Let's hope some people step up on that!

  2. I really want to stress the fact that the REASON THESE HORSES HAVE AS MUCH FLESH ON THEM AS THEY DO IS BECAUSE US - THE NEIGHBORS - PEOPLE IN THIS COMMUNITY - CONTINUE TO FEED THEM!!!!!!! If it weren't for us, they would ALL look like the one Palomino mare. :(

  3. And hopefully all the feeding and care was documented. Just writing it down on a calendar on the days they were fed is sufficient. Then copy and send to the sheriff and the district attorney too please. Documentation is very very helpful in cases like this.

  4. has anyone thought about sending these pictures to an animal welfare professional. As the animal welfare professor at U.W. River Falls? It's the only one I know but I'm sure there are more out there. I'm sure he'd be willing to help. Very Nice guy just wanting to help animals

  5. How about Waupaca County and Jeanette Newell stole German Shepherds from a breeder and the dogs were in good condition and had been seen by vets and they lied to the media and to a judge in order to take them, but allow these horses who seriously need help to starve? People had better wake up to the corruption in Waupaca County!

  6. Jeanette Newell is more interested in stealing healthy animals from the citizens of Waupaca County...animals which can be turned around and sold through the filthy shelter owned by another Waupaca County humane officer named Diane Neelis...they have a good scheme going....selling stolen dogs. Newell uses a "vet" who has NEVER actually had a vet practice, only worked with dead animals in laboratory testing. He will, for a fee, testify that the dogs are all malnourished so Newell can take them and turn around and her friends sell them. They have to be high end purebreds. No, Newell would have no use for sick horses. It's about greed and corruption, not about the animals! Karski is always a major player in these scenarios, along with Det. Sgt. Mocadlo and Julie Thobaben (the deputy who sued Waupaca County for sex discrimination in 2012 and got $142,000 awarded to her). Peter Gasper is the vet who never had a vet practice....he has a contract with Wolf River Veterinary Clinic to euthanize animals....James Ziegler DVM is another player, as well as Karen Hayes, DVM of Waupaca. Racketeering and fraud, perjury, they are guilty of it. No, they would not take any sick horses they can't sell. They may also be paid off to not act on the horses. Anything is possible with this band of thugs. Don't forget Asst. DA James Fassbender will NOT prosecute his friends either, no matter what the crime is. Have proof of that!

  7. L, I've taken the liberty of making a petition for this -- -- please, everyone sign & get the word out, or let me know if you'd like any changes/additions made to it. petitions have a huge potential to reach more people/get more traction and a decent track record of getting results in animal welfare cases.

  8. That picture of her is not correct. She is not that young looking.

  9. THANK YOU Erin!! Can't believe I didn't think of that, you rock

  10. Yes. that picture is not her because I see her everyday in the building where she lives.

  11. Apparently it is a very old picture which makes her younger? :)

  12. The humane officer is also the legal assistant to the corporation council and her name is Jeanette Newell, not Newlin. Her direct line is 715-258-6457. Her email is

  13. Barbara Thiry seems to have a history of getting away with crimes. Scroll down the page after clicking on this link.

  14. Another one:

  15. I can not believe that the Humane society is not getting involved in this and prosecuting the woman first of all , and removing these horses from the property? Usually from our experience in Lincoln county, if there is a report and it is justified, the animals are removed IMEDIATELY, and the people are fined and arrested. There is many organizations out there that can help these animals, and as for the woman being belegerant and mean, so be it. let the cops or sherriff's department deal with her? that is what they are paid for. If the woman tries to stop the removal of these animals from her propery, let the landlord go onto the property and take them off. if she is being evicted where is she going to go with the animals? I will call and call until I can't anymore.

    1. Humane societies have no legal power. They can't do anything to prosecute anyone, they can only take in animals.

      I totally agree that other counties seem to do much better at this kind of thing!

      Thank you for calling!!

  16. well I called the sheriff's dept. and they said they had a deputy out there today to do something about it? that they are also aware of what the condition of the horses were and that they would follow up.

  17. We bought a farmette 7 years ago in Waupaca County that was foreclosed on, it came with 2 horses that were abandoned there the previous fall, they were in worse shape, eyes sunken in not long left too live, and we were told by neighbors tbe same thing, many people called to report it but nothing ever happened ! We took care of those horses, got them back on their feet! They turned out to be 2 wonderful horses and lived to be in their 3o's. I hope something will be done this time! Remember the squeaky wheel always gets tbe grease!

    1. THANK YOU for caring!! You saved those horses lives and that is huge.

  18. Just remember this when election season rolls around!!!! Vote these people out of office! Best punishment out there.....

  19. Waupaca county is know for doing nothing to help animals. Remember the deers killed by the snowmobiles,it took a Madison court to bring those idiots down! My girlfriends 2 dogs were shot by her neighbor for no reason he got off with no charges ! This is outrageous already !!!

    1. Waupaca county does have a bad reputation when it comes to very basic animal welfare! I'm so sorry about your girlfriend's dogs.

  20. To all who are trying to do the right thank...AWESOME WORK, the officals really need to get this right, NOW, NOT LATER!

  21. I know someone has mention about getting the media involved. I really feel that would have things move faster.There was a case down by me in Kenosha county and once the media got involved all the aniamals were safed from their torture. Is the anything else one can do to help?

  22. Why isnt there anyone to just res ue these horses. Six years ago in portage cty. They took horse off a property. Because a passer by thought there was a dead horse laying in a pen. The horse where not dead abd no charges where ever pressed against said owner. But they had to fight to get them back. St Francis was involved in that case to. So step in u did before and animals where fine in portage cty . They did even look like these ones do.

    1. What? Can you put that statement in English? Sheesh.