Judge Allows Evidence in Ohio Cruelty Case

A judge has declined to discard evidence in the case of an Ohio woman charged with maltreating more than 40 Arabian horses at her Ottawa County farm.

Animal welfare authorities from the Humane Society of Ottawa County seized 36 allegedly maltreated horses from an Oak Harbor farm in January. Farm operator Robin Vess was subsequently charged with 42 counts of second degree misdemeanor animal cruelty. She later transferred ownership of the horses to an Arabian rescue group. The animals are now residing in foster homes.

In February, Vess' attorney Mark Davis filed a motion in Ottawa County Municipal Court asking that evidence in the case be discarded because Humane Society and police personnel failed to obtain a warrant before removing the horses from a barn on Vess' property.

On Friday (April 2), Ottawa County Municipal Court Judge Fritz Hany declined Davis' motion on grounds that Humane Society personnel entered the property with Vess' consent, said Bruce Theobold, spokesman for the Humane Society of Ottawa County.

"We're elated with the ruling," said Theobold.

Davis was unavailable for 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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