(This version has been updated 12.21 with a clarification regarding the ownership of four of the seized horses.)
WOODSFIELD, Ohio — In early December, Linda Snyder, of Monroe County, was charged with 21 counts of animal cruelty and abuse to 12 horses, seven dogs and one miniature donkey.
Ronda Piatt, Monroe County humane officer, said she was sent an anonymous tip that included pictures of the allegedly abused animals before receiving a search warrant for the properties located at 40331 and 40433 Cranes Nest Road.
Of the 20 animals seized from the property by Piatt, four were released to their owner, and the rest are being housed at the Monroe County Fairgrounds and are being treated by Dr. Mary Edge of the Woodsfield Veterinary Service.
“We ran a body score on all the horses. On a scale of one to nine (nine being the best condition), we had ones, twos and threes,” said Piatt. Most of the horses’ ribs and other bones could be seen through the skin, she said. Edge declined to comment while the case is ongoing.
“These horses were covered with lice, aside from being emaciated,” said Piatt. She added “we just don’t tolerate” this kind of negligence.
In an affidavit filed along with the criminal complaint, Deputy Brandon Peska, of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, outlines how he and Piatt found the animals, described as malnourished and having poor living conditions.
According to the report, the horses stalls appeared to be left unclean for long periods of time and the animals had no access to food or water.
Snyder was arraigned Dec. 14 and entered a plea of not guilty, according to Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney James Peters. A bond hearing is set for Jan. 4. Piatt said an adult daughter is also involved but no charges have been filed against her at this time.
Currently, Piatt and a crew of volunteers are caring for the horses and actively seeking foster homes until a court decision is made.
The dog shelter is accepting monetary donations for the upkeep of the horses and checks can be made out to: Monroe County Dog Pound, 47137 state Route 26, Woodsfield, OH 43793. (Include “Humane Horse Case” in the memo line.) For more information call Piatt at 740-472-0300.