Monday, August 4, 2014

Barb Thiry's Trial & Other News

Barb Thiry's trial just ended. She had been charged with 15 counts of animal mistreatment, failing to provide shelter, and failing to provide food. Each charge was a class A misdemeanor, the punishment for which can include a fine up to $10,000, or imprisonment for up to 9 months, or both. The charges resulted from Thiry's failure to get proper vet care, farrier care, food, water and shelter for her horses BiBi, Lady, Rebecca, Ruby and Two Socks. Here's a reminder of what that neglect looked like:

All charges against Thiry related to inadequate shelter were dismissed. This, despite the fact that these horses had absolutely no shelter from the bitter cold of last winter. (There was a shed wall four feet outside their bare-dirt enclosure. And there was a tiny shed, with room enough for one or maybe two horses, inside their enclosure-- but it was boarded up most of the time.)

Thiry was found "not guilty" of seven charges of neglect. It didn't matter that she had allowed a young stud to impregnate the starving mares, including his own mother. It didn't matter that Ruby's breathing problems had gone un-medicated. It didn't matter that Thiry had no food on the property for the horses, or that she had failed to pay rent for the tiny pasture for months. And finally, it didn't matter that Thiry had killed many animals via neglect at her previous residence in Kewaunee County (pics and details of that hoarding nightmare here).

Barb Thiry was found guilty of one charge of neglect, for Lady the 26 year old palomino mare.

Barb Thiry was sentenced to one year of probation for this.

Thiry will also have to pay court costs, the amount of which hasn't yet been determined, and supervision costs. She will also have to attend counseling.

In regards to the animals, Barb Thiry will almost certainly get the two stallions back. The court has ordered that she is not allowed to have animals (at least for the next year) unless authorized by an "agent" for this case, Waupaca County Large Animal Control officer Jeanette Newell. This agent is also supposed to check on any animals Barb does get, and verify that the vet and farrier make regular visits. Unfortunately, Newell is one of the people in this case who did absolutely nothing about Thiry's neglect in the first place! She will probably allow Thiry to get as many animals as she wants, and may or may not actually check on them.

Jeanette Newell's direct line is 715-258-6457, in case you would like to express your belief that Thiry should NOT be allowed to have any animals, ever, period. It also would not hurt to remind Newell that we, the public, actually expect her to do her damn job.
Her email is

Once Barb Thiry's probation is up, she is limited to owning no more than two horses for the next five years. (If anyone bothers to enforce this, I will be astonished.) Media reports here and here.

Whoopty doo, folks. A mild slap on the wrist. I am so friggin' depressed.

But I can give you one reason not to despair:

One of Barb Thiry's former mares, Rebecca, gave birth to a healthy foal while in foster care. Despite her starvation while pregnant, Rebecca's colt (who is named Robbie) is doing great. You can see him (and his mom) in this video. Both are being fostered by volunteers for Dane County Humane Society. If you've ever visited DCHS, you know that they only have a small paddock to take in horses, so foster homes are a must. They would love to build a new barn to take in many more horses, and so they don't have to rely on fosters all the time. You can help by donating a couple of bucks here! Just select your amount and then click on "New Barn" in the designation field. I promise it's safe. Dane County Humane Society is still looking for forever homes for Lady, Ruby and Rebecca as well! (P.S. as far as I know, the court ordered Thiry to surrender these mares permanently, so there's no way she'll be getting them back!)

Speaking of great causes...

Midwest Horse Welfare has just taken in a bunch more horses, including a little black mini, Chubby.

Chubby Checker has wounds from an embedded halter, major dental problems, he needs all his vaccinations, and he needs to be gelded. That's a lot of vet bills, folks. Can you donate?

Check out their Facebook page and website. Don't forget, they have a fun show and tack sale coming up on Saturday Sept. 27th at the Waupaca County Fairgrounds. It's a great way to have fun AND support one of Wisconsin's greatest rescues at the same time!

Next up: All natural flyspray containing Marigold oil (also known as Calendula oil) has been linked to severe allergic reactions in  some humans, including hives, inability to swallow, breathing problems, skin irritation, etc. This weekend, a friend of mine experienced all of this after using a locally sold natural flyspray. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, just because something is "natural" does NOT mean it is safe!

Speaking of natural toxins, Lyme Disease is definitely an increasing problem here in Wisconsin. But why are some vets refusing to recognize the threat? I recently spoke to microbiologist Linda Brown from the Wisconsin State Ag. Lab. Brown explained to me that some American vets and doctors simply haven't stayed current with Lyme disease. She said that it is a very real, but tends to be dismissed because it is hard to diagnose, and American clinics rarely have the necessary equipment to properly test for it. One solution is to shop around for professionals who are willing to do blood tests for several strains of Lyme Disease. You can read more about Lyme Disease here.


  1. Ok everything is correct till you wrote about her getting the 2 stallions back. As stated she may get themy back but after the agent her probation official has seen she had a evaluation done for mental and financially able to support herself and 2 horses. Till then she still has to pay for these services and the care of the 2 horses. If and only then it's up to the probation official to say she may have them back. Remember while she is on probation she also has to pay for that. So many things she has to provide and if she fails to follow these the court can intervene the horses. If she has been able to maintain these financially she still has 5 yrs. That the courts will be following her and only she can have 2 horses and she still has to provide that she is paying for vet services and farrier services plus care of 2 horses. If at any time she fails there the court may take action. I personally know this as I was there in the court room listening to the judge give her this sentence.

  2. I know this isnt everything we wanted but it is something. I highly doubt she will be able to keep up on vet and farrier care, and I sure hope we can keep track when/if she gets those horses back in her care. But, I truly think that if she can afford the horses, which we all know she really can't, that maybe she shouldn't be on assistance.

  3. There was some mention of a "legal technicality" on the Save the Clintonville Horses facebook page What the heck would that be? Anyone know? Anonymous No. 1, remember that people have helped her before with finances so that could very well happen again. This is justice for what she did to Lady but not justice for the other 4 that were suffering greatly over there. It's a travesty.

  4. Thanks for the updates. It seems to take so much energy and resources to even get these cases to trial. One can only hope that there is enough media attention to keep this case going. The worst seems to be when they are dropped and everyone forgets about it so they can do it again. Let's keep her name and face "out there".
    Any updates on that case with all the pay to ride trail horses in north western Wisconsin?

  5. Regarding the increasing danger of Lyme Disease. The well respected North American Long Rider Lucy Leaf overcame a great many challenges during her 8,000 mile journey through the United States. Ironically her life was put at its greatest risk after she stepped down from the saddle. Like other Long Riders in Europe and North America Lucy became a victim of an insect-borne health hazard that poses a danger to millions of horses and humans in dozens of countries. Lucy’s vital report, “Ticks and Travel – A Deadly Peril,” is the first equine travel study to document how ticks carrying Lyme Disease represent one of the most frightening threats faced by Long Riders today.