Ohio Arabian Group Granted Custody of Seized Horses

An Arabian horse welfare organization has assumed the care of 31 allegedly malnourished horses seized from an Oak Harbor, Ohio, farm last month.

Animal welfare authorities from the Humane Society of Ottawa County discovered 37 animals allegedly residing in filth without food or water on Jan. 29. One horse was found dead on the property and five were euthanized at the scene. The remaining 31 horses were moved to the Sandusky County Fairgrounds stables, where another was later euthanized.

Farm operator Robin Vess was charged with 42 counts of second degree misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Last week Vess surrendered the surviving horses to the Arabian Rescue Midwest (a subsidiary of Arabian Rescue Mission), according to her attorney, Mark Davis.

"Arabian horses need special care, and the Humane Society of Ottawa County is understaffed and underequipped to give these horses the care they need," said Davis.

Davis said Vess will plead not guilty at her Feb. 24 court appearance.

Attorney Chris Marcinko, who prosecutes cases for the Humane Society of Ottawa County, declined to comment.

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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