Woman Convicted of Extreme Neglect of Horse
On July 12, 2019, a man spotted a horse in a ditch in Carrol County, Mississippi, and went to his aid. The horse had become entangled in the rope that kept him captive, and he slid into a ditch by the road where he was kept. The man freed him and contacted law enforcement.
Carroll County Deputy Robert Anderson investigated the report. Having confirmed the condition of the horse and his surroundings, he contacted In Defense of Animals Justice for Animals Campaign Director, Doll Stanley, for assistance. They obtained a seizure order for the horse.
When seized, Stanley discovered that the horse, now named Jericho, was severely malnourished and had been kept under a carport with a range of hazardous items. He was also forced to stand on a brick pad, which was very likely to have caused him considerable pain and discomfort.
Two horse advocates from a regional ranch that rescues and cares for horses in need aided in removing Jericho. As Jericho was led to freedom, his “guardian,” Allie Estelle Blount, repeatedly claimed, “There’s nothing wrong with my horse.” Jericho is now regaining his health, but he has a long road to recovery ahead of him.
Stanley filed an affidavit in Carroll County Justice Court for animal cruelty under § 97-41-1: Cruelty to living creatures; a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months of incarceration.
On July 29, 2019, Stanley presented this incident to the Carroll County Board of Supervisors as another example as to why the county must pass an ordinance prohibiting the tethering of “livestock” as a primary means of confinement.
On October 3, 2019, Allie Estelle Blount appeared in court after being charged with animal cruelty for the severe neglect of her horse, Jericho. In front of the judge, Blount claimed that her emaciated horse lost hundreds of pounds in three weeks due to eating her peach tree. She also claimed that he was her therapy horse. These false, absurd claims did not fool the judge.
Allie Estelle Blount was convicted of animal cruelty, was ordered not to keep animals, and initially fined $500. The prosecutor then convinced the judge that the fine would be a burden for Blount and the County because she did not have the ability to pay.
Animal advocates are upset with this lenient ruling, which further fuels society’s call for change in the judicial system where animals are concerned. It seems the judicial system is moving toward helping offenders to become more viable members of society, and part of this plan includes not burdening individuals who struggle financially with fines that may cause them to continue to fail themselves and their communities.
We are grateful that at least Jericho has been taken from his thoroughly inadequate guardian and that she is not allowed to “care for” more animals as it is plainly obvious that she is incapable of recognizing one who is starving to death in front of her.
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