GREENFIELD -- A Saratoga County woman was charged Thursday with 19 counts of animal cruelty, and 14 of her horses have been transported to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Ulster County where they are receiving urgent care.
"They didn't look good. They all have problems," said Cathy Cloutier, executive director of SPCA of Upstate New York, whose organization conducted a joint investigation with State Police that began in late September.
Ann Arnold of Wilton Road, who faces the misdemeanor charges, voluntarily surrendered the horses, admitting she could not financially or physically care for them, according to police.
The 14 horses were removed earlier this month and nine others currently remain at the premises.
Of the 23 horses in all, 19 fell to a level of neglect, police said, and many were described as being "in wretched condition," according to Kathy Stevens, director of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary.
"We've been doing this for 10 years and this is one of the more disturbing cases that I have seen," Stevens said.
The latest additions bring to 40 the number of horses at Catskill Animal Sanctuary, in addition to a variety of pigs, cows, rabbits and turkeys rescued from cruelty and neglect.
Stevens said care for the 14 horses will cost $5,000 to $7,000 per month. The sanctuary's goal will be to bring the animals back to good health, which is expected to take two to four months, then place them in loving homes. The group has issued an appeal for financial support via its website at: https://casanctuary.org/.
Allegations against Arnold in connection with animal neglect have surfaced in the past.
Four of her horses and two dogs were seized in December 1995, according to published reports, and she was charged with two counts of failure to provide proper sustenance to animals and one count of animal cruelty earlier that same year.
In December 2007, community residents brought complaints to the Greenfield Town Board that about 30 of Arnold's horses routinely broke free of inadequate fencing and were often found on adjoining properties.
Arnold will answer to the animal cruelty charges Nov. 1 in Greenfield Court.