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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.