Controversial Massachusetts Horse Case Pushed Back to May Date

The controversial Massachusetts animal cruelty case involving a geriatric mare that some animal welfare advocates maintain should be euthanized was continued to May 6 during a pre-trial hearing today in Uxbridge District Court.

"We're pressing forward with the case," said Tim Connolly, spokesman for the Worcester County District Attorney's Office. "All that happened in court today had to do with compliance and election."

Connolly explained that attorneys on both sides were ordered to share information pertinent to the case, and that the horse's owner Elliot Saffran of Milford, Mass., must decide whether he wants a jury or a bench trial if the case does, in fact, go to trial.

Quincy walking video.

Watch a video of Quincy walking, courtesy of  
Play video (0:24, 1.4MB, .wmv)

Richard LeBlond, deputy chief of law enforcement with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), said yesterday that the charges against Saffran could have been dropped if he agreed to euthanize Quincy, a 29-year-old mare. For more on this see Decision to Euthanize Horse Could Bring End to Controversial Case.

According to LeBlond, the deal was designed to prevent the horse's continued suffering while the case wound its way through the court system.

Neither LeBlond nor Connolly would comment on the deal today, nor state whether it was offered during the hearing.

Saffron was charged with animal cruelty for "willfully allowing an animal to suffer" last January when an employee at the facility where Quincy was boarded complained to the MSPCA that the horse was frail, unsteady on her feet, and suffered from deep abrasions.

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.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More