Ohio Woman Convicted on Cruelty Counts

An Ohio woman has been found guilty on more than 40 counts of second-degree misdemeanor animal cruelty for maltreating Arabian horses on her Oak Harbor farm. An Ottawa County Municipal Court jury returned the verdicts April 30.

Animal welfare authorities charged Robin Vess with 42 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty in February after discovering 37 animals living in filth without food or water on her property. One horse was found dead; another five were euthanized at the scene. The remaining 31 horses were removed from the farm. Vess later surrendered the surviving animals to the Arabian Rescue Mission/Arabian Rescue Midwest.

Vess will appear in court June 4 for sentencing. She faces maximum penalties up to 90 days in jail and $750 for each count. Her attorney, Mark Davis, was unavailable to comment.

Bruce Theobald, spokesman for the Humane Society of Ottawa County, said the jury's decision was fair.

"Naturally, we're elated." he said.

Since their seizure, most of the horses have been placed in new homes or with previous owners, said Arabian Rescue Mission President and Founder Terry Figueroa.

"They're are all doing great," she said.

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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