The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : A Maryland Man Has Been Found Guilty on 12 Counts of Animal Cruelty and Abuse, After One Horse Dies from Neglect, and Six Others Found Badly Malnourished

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Maryland Man Has Been Found Guilty on 12 Counts of Animal Cruelty and Abuse, After One Horse Dies from Neglect, and Six Others Found Badly Malnourished

Dickerson, Maryland  – A Montgomery County judge has banned a Maryland man from owning animals, plus sentenced him to three years of supervised probation.

Robert Curry Sr., 56, of Rockville, was found guilty Tuesday on 12 counts of animal cruelty and abuse.

In July 2014, a Montgomery County Animal Control officer responded to an anonymous welfare check at Curry's riding stable, located along the 19300 block of Martinsburg Road in Dickerson.

The officer spotted seven horses in various barbed wire and pipe fencing pastures. All of the horses had an unkempt appearance. Some had overgrown and misshapen hooves. Two were terribly malnourished.

A 13-year-old Thoroughbred mare named Zelda was so thin her ribs and spine were clearly visible. A 19-year-old Paint Horse mare named Yasmine was far worse, starved, near skeletal. Yasmine had sores and fly bites peppered on her body, was battling internal parasites and had poor dental hygiene.

The farm property itself was in a ramshackle state. A wooden shed, used as a stable, was missing three sides and a portion of the roof. Most of the water troughs were dry as a bone and the farm's hay was weedy and moldy—terribly unhealthy for consumption.

With a search warrant in hand, officers seized all seven horses and charged Curry with 17 criminal counts of animal cruelty. But only days after the mid-summer rescue, Yasmine died from pneumonia—her immune system shot.

"It's just a sad state of affairs," Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Ramon Korionoff said. "This situation was deplorable for these animals and your heartstrings get pulled when you have to look at such conditions."

Howard County-based Days End Farm Horse Rescue, a 60-acre rescue facility for neglected horses in Maryland and all geographically neighboring states, accepted Yasmine and Zelda.

"It's always difficult to see, it's always hard on your heart," Equine Programs Director DeEtte Gorrie remarked. "Yasmine was one of the worst cases that Days End Farm has seen. She was an act of emaciation."

Although Yasmine's conditions were beyond healing, staff at Days End Farm provided Zelda with a second chance at life. Now nine months later, the slightly skittish, yet very friendly Thoroughbred is ready for adoption.

"Days End Farm Horse Rescue, we are here to help owners and to educate. There are resources available if they find themselves in need, not being able to provide," Gorrie added.

In court Tuesday, Curry claimed a back injury had prevented him from properly caring for his seven horses. Montgomery County District Court Judge Patricia Mitchell did not buy his tale and in turn, sentenced him to three years of supervised probation. Curry is also prohibited from owning any animals and could be ordered to pay $25,000 for veterinarian and animal rescue bills. A restitution hearing will be held later this year.








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