Ohio Teen Pleads Guilty to Horse Abandonment Charge

An Amish teenager has pleaded guilty to abandoning a 9-year-old Standardbred horse outside a Wal-Mart store in Geauga County, Ohio.

Christian Courtwright, humane officer and investigator for the Geauga County Humane Society said that in November, Wal-Mart employees notified law enforcement authorities after discovering the animal in a stall provided for the store's Amish customers. Store employees looked after the animal until law enforcement authorities transported it to a nearby farm for care. The horse is now under Geauga County Humane Society care, Courtwright said.

"At the time of the incident the horse had a body condition score of 3 (out of 9) on the Henneke Scale; had lacerations caused by a harness on its withers, chest, and shoulders; and needed its teeth floated," Courtwright said.

Johnny Miller, 19, was charged with animal abandonment in connection with the incident, Courtwright said.

Miller was unavailable for comment.

On Jan 3 Miller pleaded guilty to the charge, Courtwright said. Miller also surrendered the horse to the Geauga County Humane Society. His sentencing is pending.

In the meantime, Humane Society Executive Director Hope Brustein said the horse--named Wally by agency staffers--is responding to treatment and will be made available for adoption shortly.

"We're getting inquiries from people all over Ohio and all over the country who want to adopt Wally," Brustein said. "We want to do what's best for him and find him a good, caring forever home."

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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