PERMISSION TO CROSS POST
Dear Friends of Suzi and Whiskey,
Just about a year ago now, a woman named Keum Lee was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal abuse. The victims, a mare named Suzi and a gelding named Whiskey, were both skin and bone, and both were wearing halters too small for their heads, when the police and a vet arrived to evaluate them. The halters were so extremely constricting, and on Suzi, so misplaced as well, they caused infections. Over time, untreated by the caregivers, Keum Lee and Chong Lee, a physician by profession, these infections had grown so deep, and become so extensive, they caused the halters to literally adhere to the horses' faces. In addition to the burden of what must have been unrelenting, agonizing pain and misery, both horses were in starvation condition.
For a good while, it was touch and go as to whether Suzi would survive, despite being given intensive medical treatment, and despite the wonderful, healing care and support provided by Lynda Broas of Equine Rescue Inc.
Several weeks after the seizure, the prosecuting attorney offered Keum Lee a reduction in the charges, to one count of misdemeanor animal abuse, if she would just plead Guilty. In situations such as this, the abuser is routinely handed back the victims of abuse, and life goes on for all--in most cases, for the victim, torturously so.
But Keum Lee claimed she was innocent of any abuse. And in the interim, as Lee's lawyer and the assistant DA tried to work out a compromise, an appalled columnist named Lucy Muller began contacting people on behalf of Suzi and Whiskey, asking them to stand up and fight for the horses--fight for proper charges for their abusers, and safe sanctuary for their victims. And the people she contacted talked to other compassionate people, and the circle grew. Most importantly, everyone, it seems, expressed their outrage to the DA. And so, chapter one of this story ended with the one count of misdemeanor animal abuse becoming two again, plus two felony abuse charges being added, one for each horse. In addition, Keum Lee's husband, Chong Lee, the horses' owner of record, was also identically charged.
A year later, here we are. The seemingly countless hearings and motions have, at last, come to an end. The charges still stand. And now, on Monday, April 19, the trial of Keum and Chong Lee will begin at the Orange Country Government Center, in Goshen, NY. If you can, I hope you will be there to once again show your support for Suzi and Whiskey--and for all animals who suffer so senselessly at the hands of uncaring humans, every day, everywhere.
Folks, we did it. It's happening. Thank you so much for standing up to be counted, for calling and writing and faxing on behalf of these two horses, who did, truly, go through hell and back. Thank you for demanding justice. Thank you for demanding proper punishment for these alleged crimes. Thank you for demanding safety, for life, for these two horses. Thank you for letting me know, throughout this long year, you've not forgotten Suzi and Whiskey, and not forgotten, also, how very much they have suffered in their lives.
Monday, April 19th, the trial by jury begins. We'll keep you posted as things unfold.
Suzi and Whiskey will have their day in court.
Thank you so much for making this happen,
Director, Sunnyskies Bird & Animal Sanctuary