Note: Graphic photos of horse abuse are displayed below text. Do not scroll down if you are sensitive to graphic images of animal abuse.
In mid June, Lucy Muller of Ellenville, NY (Pet Sounds Columnist for the Shawangunk Journal) contacted Linda and Kerry Clair of Pets Alive regarding an April 28, 2009 article she had seen in the newspaper re: abused horses in Wallkill. The horses, Suzi and Whiskey, had been transported to nearby Equine Rescue Inc., operated by long time horse rescuer, Lynda Broas. Although the suffering of the horses had been extreme, with 800 lbs lost between the two due to starvation, and ill fitting halters damaging the faces of both--actually deeply embedded in the face of Suzi--the person responsible for their care, Keum H. Lee, was only charged with two counts of misdemeanor abuse.
Over time, the two counts were reduced to one count. A travesty, considering the long term, unrelenting suffering imposed on both of these horses. Worse, there were real fears Lee would eventually get the horses returned to her home.
Working with Pets Alive, Lucy Muller, and Equine Rescue Inc., we spread the word: call the Orange County DA and ADA and demand justice for these terribly abused animals! The lion roared, and the public faxes, phone calls, letters, and a rally have all led to:
1) the case being transferred to the District Attorneys Felony Unit for review;
2) the dropped misdemeanor charge being reinstated;
3) a plea to prevent the horses from being returned to this abusive person;
4) a plea that no animals be placed in the care of this abusive person.
Keum H. Lee will come before the court again on August 5, 2009, at which time, if evidence supports the felony charge, she will be re-charged, and the case will be referred to a Grand Jury for review.
Although Whiskey is well on the way to full recovery, Suzi is not. The infection in her facial bones is not responding to antibiotics, and if it cannot be controlled, the infection will eventually penetrate her brain. Her vet, Rachael Fiske of Pine Bush Equine Veterinary Clinic, has termed her prognosis: guarded. In addition, she will suffer repercussions of this abuse for the rest of her life--such was the damage inflicted. Shame on Keum H. Lee--who is pleading Not Guilty, and therefore, has no sense of shame. Such is the way of the worst animal abusers.
Say a prayer for Suzi.
Director, Sunnyskies Bird & Animal Sanctuary
P.S.: Linda attended a rally outside the courthouse on June 24th, 2009. Read all about it here.