New Beginnings Horse Rescue Operator Indicted

The operator of a Virginia horse rescue has been indicted on animal cruelty charges months after the King William County Commonwealth Attorney declined to prosecute previous charges.

In June King William County Animal Control personnel seized 42 horses from New Beginnings Horse Rescue after investigating complaints that animals were unhealthy and lacked food and water access. Operator Cassy Newell-Reed was charged with three counts of Class 1 misdemeanor animal cruelty.

In July, a King William County Circuit Court judge ordered the seized horses to be returned to Newell-Reed on grounds that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the horses had been maltreated. In August, a King William County District Court judge granted a motion from the county's Commonwealth Attorney Matthew Kite that the charges be ruled nolle prosequi, meaning the prosecutor chose to discontinue the criminal charges. For all immediate purposes, the charges were dropped.

However, on Oct. 13, a King County grand jury handed down two animal cruelty indictments for Newell-Reed, court records indicate, and she was arrested on Oct. 15.

A phone number for the rescue posted on its social media was disconnected. As a result, Newell-Reed could not be reached for comment.

The case remains pending.

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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