from the MPACA Facebook page:
SAGINAW COUNTY ACTION ALERT: Marigold Stables in Frankenmuth, Michigan, Investigation Complete, Now Request Prosecution. Contact the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s office and politely request that they proceed with the prosecution. 989-790-5330.
Contact the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners to voice your concerns about the inability of the Saginaw County Animal Control to handle equine cases and about the lack of prosecution after the investigation was finally complete. Chair Michael Hanley: 989-798-5267
Please make some calls; these horses need you to be their voice! Thank you!
THE CASE: Saginaw County Animal Control and the Frankenmuth Police Department finally conducted an investigation. They brought many experienced, trained and educated veterinarians to the farm.
The findings? 17 horses with a body condition score (BCS) of 3 out of 9 or less. That’s horrific. For those not familiar with the Henneke BCS chart; 3 is considered thin, 2 is very thin: emaciated and 1 is poor: emaciated. A BCS of 4 to 7 is acceptable, 5 is ideal. Five of the horses were rated 2.5 and one was even rated a 1.5! They subsequently required her to humanely euthanize the one rated 1.5. Tape measure weight estimates were as low as 750 lbs.
THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE IS DECLINING CHARGES.
Instead of proceeding with the 11 tentatively authorized felony charges, they decided to give her time to remedy the concerns. This is unacceptable to the local horse and animal welfare community. Her prior neglect of these animals shows she is likely to commit future neglect.
Here are more details from the reports:
Dr. Jones of Saginaw Valley Equine Clinic excerpts (LINK TO FULL REPORT: https://jumpshare.com/b/xEwdv387Lo88XNvusZ5R):
A large amount of manure with no bedding was present in all of the stalls.
There was no evidence of turnout for quite some time.
After being shown the exact amount of concentrate and hay being fed the average horse, neither one of these quantities is sufficient to meet the energy needs of any horse in the barn.
Of the 31 horses in the barn, I found 17 of them to be a body score of 3/9 or less.
To provide the proper amount of hay for the horses on this property would require a financial commitment of around $5,000 per month.
Due to the extremely poor condition of the gelding, Presto it is my recommendation that he be humanely euthanized at the earliest available time to stop any undue suffering the gelding may be experiencing due to the lack of care.
All attempts should be made to rehome the mare, Rain. However, if a proper home cannot be found in a short period of time (30 days) then humane euthanasia is recommended.
In summary, Cox needs to provide appropriate documents that she is financially capable of providing adequate care for the horses on her property otherwise the horses need to be seized and placed in rescue facilities, rehomed or humanely euthanized. It is my professional opinion that Cox is negligent at providing proper feed requirements to the horses on her property.
Department of Agriculture and Dr. Vicky Chickering’s excerpts:
Although most of the horses seem to be in adequate condition, I did find several horses to be in undesirable body condition. BCS of Presto is 1 (emaciated), Solitaire is 2 (very thin), Cinderella is 2.5, and Danni, Cori and Palladin are 2.5 to 3.
Recommendations were given for improvement of the above horses conditions.
Frankenmuth Police Department excerpts:
I observed the stables with large amounts of feces located in them, small amounts of straw, and containers that were not filled with water. I observed horses with rib cages visible through their skin, hooves that have not been trimmed, and horses that appeared to be very dirty.
Inside of several of the stalls it was noted that the horses did not have bedding, and multiple stalls had horse manure in the water buckets.
Prior to entering the driveway (on 2/2/2014) I noted that there were no tire tracks or footprints in the snow leading to the venue. This indicated to me that no one had been at the venue since at least 1-31-14 due to the fresh snowfall.
Of the stalls that I checked there was very little or no bedding material, the floor of all of the stalls was covered in feces, there was no food or clean water in any of the stalls, some of the water buckets in the stalls contained a large amount of feces. Overall I observed the conditions the animals were living in to be unsanitary and extremely dirty.
A problem identified in the complaint is the low body weight of the 17 horses using the Henneke Body Condition Score.
Also identified as a problem to be resolved was the quality, and quantity of bedding in the stalls, it was resolved that the industry standard is the use of three inches of sawdust in each stall.
Also identified as a problem is the condition of a horse known as Presto … needs to be euthanized due to the medical issues as well as his age.
Also identified as a problem is the dental condition of a number of the 17 horses identified as low body weight.
Items discussed but not identified as problems are the availability, and amount of water for each of the horses.
Five complaints were filed with Saginaw County Animal Control in the last two years. The first complaint on record was 7/11/2012. A second complaint was filed on 7/30/2012, a third on 7/2/2013 and a fourth on 10/2/2013.
The latest (which finally lead to a thorough investigation) was filed on 1/29/2014. Prior complaints were closed with no evidence of a thorough investigation on the animal control reports.
This shows that SCAC is not capable in this area. Due to the pressure from the public on this latest complaint, the Department of Agriculture and the unbiased vet were called to scene finding the above conditions. This is after the following comments from the SCAC’s officer Taschner taken as a summary from police report:
The horses had plenty of food, hay and fresh water. The stalls were a bit dirty but due to the cold weather and wind chills this was acceptable. Overall the barn is in good shape, and the horses appear to be well cared for. There is nothing criminal or negligent going on at the Marigold Stables.
The body scores and photos tell a different story. And the community is supposed to expect and have faith that SCAC can suddenly be proficient at following up to make sure she cares for these horses in the future?
To go to the petition site, please click here.