Guilty Plea Entered in Virginia Horse Cruelty Case

A Virginia couple will serve six months in jail after pleading guilty to 10 counts of animal cruelty on July 13. The charges stemmed from the 2010 removal of 33 horses from the property owned by Elizabeth Newsome Amos and Robert Amos.

King and Queen County Sheriff's deputies discovered the animals June 28, 2010, and on June 29, acting on a warrant, law enforcement authorities and personnel from the United States Equine Rescue League (USERL) removed 33 allegedly maltreated horses from the property. The horses were placed in rehabilitative care, said Susan White, Richmond region director of the USERL.

The Amoses later surrendered the removed horses to the USERL and agreed to pay the agency $15,000 for the animals' care. The couple also agreed to surrender 20 horses remaining on the property or sell them to new owners.

A grand jury in King and Queen County later indicted the pair on 20 counts each of animal cruelty.

On Wednesday the pair pleaded guilty to 10 counts of animal cruelty, said King and Queen County Circuit Court Clerk Deborah F. Longest. Another 10 counts were dismissed. Both Elizabeth Newsome Amos and Robert Amos were sentenced to one year in jail on each of the 10 counts with all but six months suspended. Each will also serve five years' probation.

Neither Amos nor Newsome Amos was available for comment.

Since the seizure, one horse was euthanized and one will most likely have permanent hoof damage due to neglect, said White

"Most have been adopted or are in training getting ready to be adopted," White 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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