Owner Sues Humane Group over Stallion Seizure

The owner of a stallion connected to a California equine welfare case has filed suit against the Marin County Humane Society, claiming that the agency wrongfully seized the animal.

In January, Marin Humane Society Atty. Bruce Wagman told TheHorse.com that the Marin County Humane Society seized the Warmblood breeding stallion Romantic Star and a mare from the Gray Fox Farm in Petaluma on Dec. 27, 2012. On Jan. 4, he said, two more allegedly maltreated mares were removed from the farm operated by breeder Jill Burnell.

Burnell's attorney Margaret Weems said that the impoundment of the horses was unwarranted. The case remains pending.

"No charges (have been filed) yet as far as I know," Wagman said on Feb. 6.

On Feb. 4, Weems filed a complaint in Marin County Superior Court on behalf of the stallion's owner Ronda Stavisky. The complaint alleges that that the animal was wrongfully seized and asks the court to order the Marin Humane Society to return the animal to Stavisky.

"The complaint very specifically details the history of the seizure, conduct of the Humane Society officers and agents involved, and contends that the stallion Romantic Star is and was at no time in danger, malnourished, or abused," Weems said. "(Stavisky) wants her stallion back."

No one from the Marin Humane Society was available to comment on the lawsuit.


About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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