Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Barb Thiry Neglect Case Update 11/13/13

On November 6th, Barb Thiry plead "not guilty" to 15 counts of neglect charges in the Waupaca County courthouse. Because of her lack of money, she's being represented by the court-provided public defender Kyle Borkenhagen, a young man who has been practicing law for only two years. Thiry is free on signature bond at the moment, and still living in Clintonville with her dog Brandy.
BiBi the older stallion.

On November 13th, Thiry appeared in court again to negotiate with the court in the matter of the cost of care of the horses. The boarding facility where the horses are located are charging a very reasonable $5 per day each for four of the horses ($150/month each), and $6 per day for the older stud ($180/month). There have also been vet bills, and I'm sure there will be lots more vet and farrier bills in the future.

The judge asked Barb Thiry whether she could afford to pay for the care of all her horses at the boarding facility during her trial. There was quite a lot of discussion (and pleading on Thiry's part) about her low income (she claims $930/month, a quarter of which goes to pay her rent at a government assisted apartment). Thiry also again claimed she had been taking care of the horses just fine, she's done nothing wrong, and this all started because some people wanted to (and still want to) "steal" her precious, valuable horses... not because those "valuable" horses were, in fact, slowly starving to death.

Eventually, Thiry had to admit that she could not pay for the care of all her horses. She relinquished ownership of all the mares, but asked to keep the stallions. The judge ordered Thiry to pay $350 on the 8th of each month (starting in December) for the continued care of the stallions while her trial continues.  If she is 3 or more days late, the horses automatically become the property of the county. If she somehow manages to pay on time, every time, at the end of the trial she may still be ordered to give them up, if she's found guilty (and depending on her sentencing).

So celebrate!! The mares no longer belong to Barb Thiry!!
Ruby, Lady, and Rebecca are FREE!

  Of course, Barb Thiry hasn't even gone to trial yet, so we don't yet know if justice will be served, or what will happen to the two stallions. In fact, we're not quite sure about the mares. Right now, it's completely up to Waupaca County to decide what will happen to these three mares.

They could choose to auction them off in an attend to recover some of their expenses in this case.
They could choose to give the horses to a horse rescue.
They could choose to sell the horses to a private buyer.

I think you already know what the best choice is here... but the county may not! PLEASE contact Waupaca County and ask that these horses be turned over to a reputable horse rescue with experience in nursing neglected horses back to health! You can suggest that they go to Saint Francis Horse rescue in nearby Rosholt, Midwest Horse Welfare in Pittsville, etc. Here's the address:

Waupaca County Courthouse
811 Harding St
Waupaca WI 54981

You know who else you should contact?
  •  District Attorney John P Snider, at the same address as above. Ask him not to offer Thiry any deals, and to try make sure that, if she's found guilty, her sentence includes the order that she must give up the two stallions, and she not be allowed to own animals in the future. Remind him that Thiry has left a pile of dead animals in her wake, like those poor horses, goats, cats and dogs on her property in Kewaunee WI.  Again, that address is:
    • District Attorney John P Snider
      Waupaca County Courthouse
      811 Harding St
      Waupaca WI 54981.
  • Judge John P. Hoffmann. Thank him for this no-nonsense approach to this case, and his insightful, logical approach to Thiry's ownership of the mares-- she's can't afford 'em, so she can't have 'em! Encourage him to continue to take animal neglect cases seriously. His address is also the same:

    • Judge John P. Hoffmann
      Waupaca County Courthouse
      811 Harding St
      Waupaca, WI,
Now, I don't know for sure which judge will take over the case from here, or if Judge Hoffmann will stay on, but I will certainly let you know so that you can contact him as well!

OH, and there's one more person you should contact...

Remember Dr. Peter Drehmann? Well you should, because he was the one who said all these horses were just fine, and even went so far as to defend Barb Thiry's actions on TV and on Facebook.

What particularly pissed me off was that Drehmann attributed the most emaciated horse's condition to "just old age," shrugging off her skeletal appearance as if it was normal. This, despite the fact that senior horses can be in great health if given the right nutrition... and despite the fact that the horse had been in fantastic shape only a year and a half earlier!

Drehmann even went so far as to help Barb Thiry by uploading a picture of this horse to Facebook. He wanted to show people how "good" she looked! As if a grooming session could undue months upon months of neglect! As if a shiny coat and an excuse about missing teeth could excuse the fact that this picture shows the mare's ribs meeting her spine!

Click to enlarge

Clearly Dr. Peter Drehmann doesn't understand that alfalfa mush can bring even a totally toothless horse up to good weight... and that if a horse truly can't be rehabilitated, it should be euthanized, not allowed to suffer. Clearly, he also failed to see the months of neglect all of Thiry's horses endured in order to look the way they did-- underweight, suffering from untreated heaves, hooves in terrible shape, the stunted growth of the colt, matted manes, etc etc.

You should definitely contact Dr. Drehmann's workplace, United Veterinary Services in Bear Creek, WI. Tell them that you are shocked that one of their vets would support a horse abuser, appalled that their practice apparently has no clue about senior horse care, and that you will be telling everyone you know not to use United Vet Services... unless Drehmann no longer works there. This guy should not be practicing medicine on a dead cow, much less a suffering, live horse.

United Vet Services
E9525 Blueberry Rd.
Bear Creek, WI 54922


That's all for now, folks. I will continue to keep you updated on this case.

p.s.  THANKS to Wayne Gauger and his WGWI news for continuing to cover this case, when no other media outlet is doing so.


  1. Well done, N.H. Lots of great info here on this case and it is partly because of this blog that Barbara Thiry IS being brought to justice. She will never be able to keep the two stallions with her limited income and the conditions placed on that so they will all be safe very soon. Thank you!!

  2. Other than Wayne there were only two of us there, surprising considering some of the over the top comments on facebook that went on for days.
    I certainly hope when the criminal case comes up there are more bodies in the courtroom.
    I have not been able to find out who the two people were who supported Barb Thiry. They sat next to her and were obviously friendly talking to her. The woman was maybe in her forties, long blond hair and wore a tan Carhartt....the man was older, grizzled, small and lean. Sound familiar to any one ?