Pennsylvania Man Charged with Animal Cruelty

A Pennsylvania man is facing multiple animal cruelty charges in connection with the alleged maltreatment of 21 horses in his care.

malnourished Thoroughbred weanling

One of the malnourished Thoroughbred weanlings.

Adams County, Penn., Humane Officer Abigail Avery said that on Nov. 16 animal welfare authorities investigated conditions of 21 Thoroughbred mares, most of them pregnant, residing on an Adams County property leased by James Houseman III. Houseman was boarding the animals for out-of-state owners who wanted foals born in Pennsylvania in order to qualify under the state's breeders' incentive program, Avery said.

During the investigation, animal welfare officials discovered the remains of a dead mare covered with straw inside a barn. Several allegedly malnourished weanlings were also discovered residing inside the barn. A veterinarian determined that one of the weanlings had a body condition score 2 on the Henneke Scale, Avery said.

All 21 horses were subsequently removed from the property and transported to the Adams County SPCA for rehabilitative care, Avery said. Shortly after the removal, one filly died and a colt was humanely euthanized by a veterinarian due to poor body condition. Necropsies on those animals revealed that both were severely malnourished, she said.

"The surviving animals are all responding well to rehabilitative treatment," Avery said.

On Dec. 5 Houseman was charged with 22 counts of animal cruelty, Avery said.

He was unavailable for comment.

Because Houseman allegedly did not register any of the foals residing on the property, Avery is seeking owners of animals brought to Houseman for boarding. Owners should call Avery at 717/334-8876, ext 26 to claim their animals.

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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