More Charges Filed in Maryland Neglect Case

A Maryland woman already facing multiple charges for allegedly maltreating more than 100 Polish Arabian horses at her Centreville breeding farm has been charged with more cruelty counts in connection with the case.

Queen Anne's County animal welfare authorities began monitoring conditions at Canterbury Farms in 2010 after receiving complaints about the horses' condition. County welfare authorities and a veterinarian instructed the farm's owner to improve the horses' care, but the animals' conditions did not improve.

On April 15 Canterbury Farm owner Marsha Parkinson surrendered seven of the animals. A veterinarian euthanized six of the animals, all of which were in poor condition.

On April 29 animal welfare personnel from Queen Anne's County, Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR), Paradise Farm, Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue, Summer Winds Stables, and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) removed 110 animals from the farm. Another 23 animals were removed the following day.

Since their removal, the animals have been under rehabilitative care through several equine welfare organizations, and all are reportedly thriving.

On June 17 Queen Anne's County State's Attorney Lance Richardson charged Parkinson with 34 counts of cruelty to animals, according to court records.

Since then, according to court records, Richardson has filed additional charges including 34 charges filed on July 19, 33 charges filed on Aug. 29, and 32 charges filed on Sept. 7. All charges allege that Parkinson failed to provide sufficient food, necessary veterinary care, proper water, air, space, shelter, and protection from the weather.

Parkinson was unavailable for comment.

Richardson said all charges have been consolidated into one case and, if convicted, Parkinson could face penalties including up to 90 days in jail.

The trial is slated for Dec. 8 in Queen Anne's County District Court, said Richardson.

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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