Maryland Couple Sentenced in Equine Cruelty Case

A Maryland man was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges in connection with the neglect of 26 horses removed from his Garrett County property last year.

In June 2010 county animal welfare authorities removed the horses along with other livestock from property owned by Richard and Carol Friend after receiving a tip about the animals' condition. The horses were placed at Days End Farm Horse Rescue where they received rehabilitative care.

The Friends were later each charged with 26 counts of animal cruelty for failing to provide the horses with sufficient food, drink, shelter, and veterinary care.

Last week under a plea agreement Richard Friend pleaded guilty to seven of the charges. He was sentenced to serve 90 days in the county jail. Seventy days of the sentence were suspended, a spokesperson from the District Court Clerk's Office said. Carol Friend also pleaded guilty to seven charges. All 90 days of her sentence were suspended. She was ordered to perform 80 hours of community service, the spokesperson said.

Brooke Vrany, assistant director at Days End Farm, said that one horse was euthanized shortly after the removal, but that the remaining 25 are doing well. Some have been placed in adoptive homes, and other adoptions are pending, Vrany 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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