ALBION — A man and woman are facing charges following the seizure of six horses from a property in Albion.
The six horses have been taken to the non-profit Shadarobah Horse Rescue.
Amanda Lee Philo-Clark and Jeremy Clark are each charged with six misdemeanor counts of cruelty to an animal in the case.
The seizure comes just a month after 11 horses in various states of neglect were removed from a property in Whitley County following an investigation. Charges were filed against a South Whitley couple in that case.
A news release issued by Noble County Prosecutor Jim Mowery said they learned on March 23 from the Noble County Sheriff’s Department that several horses appeared to be malnourished at a location in the 1400 East block of CR 400N.
The investigation followed a call received by Noble County Communications advising that a horse Philo-Clark had recently purchased died due to neglect. It was reported that the horse was 4-5 years old and had just come off the horse track in December due to a bowed tendon. The horse reportedly had no other medical issues.
Contact was made with Philo-Clark at 1455 E. 400 N., Albion, by a Noble County Sheriff’s Department officer. Philo-Clark advised that the Thoroughbred horse had passed away from a blood infection. The officer received consent to look at Philo-Clark’s other horses and noted that the horses were very thin and looked neglected.
Shelly Chavis, DVM with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, agreed to go to the property and evaluate the horses.
Jeremy Clark then agreed to allow law enforcement and Chavis to assess the horses the following day.
On March 24, Chavis evaluated the horses and found all to be in poor condition or in a condition which warranted concern for their care, nutrition and well-being.
Information in the affidavit states there was no grain on the property and the barn stalls were piled high with horse manure, to the point that the floor was not visible. There was also limited water available for the horses.
A probable cause hearing regarding the impoundment/seizure of the horses was held on March 24. An Order for Seizure for five of the 11 horses was signed by Judge Steven C. Hagen.
When authorities arrived to seize the five horses, another horse was found to be pregnant.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Chavis noted that the pregnant mare “is not in an acceptable condition to foal” and “there was no dry, clean location anywhere on the farm for the mare to foal. I believe the health and well-being of the mare and foal are in jeopardy if left on this property.”
Based on this information, the order was amended to include the pregnant horse as well. Immediately thereafter, six of the 11 horses were removed.
Kris Lindower of Shadarobah Horse Rescue described the horses as “underweight and very neglected.”
“They have clearly been neglected,” Lindower said. “They have fungal skin infections, their teeth and feet need attended to. Two of them, despite their lack of weight, have saddle sores where it’s clear they were being ridden with ill-fitting equipment that caused skin abrasions.”
“It’s very clear to even the non-horse person, these guys are in rough shape and haven’t known proper care and love in some time,” Lindower said. “We feel so intensely blessed to have so many on our team willing to roll up their sleeves and do what needs done in order to help the horses in our care.”
“At this time, the most important issue is the safety of the animals, which we were able to ensure thanks to the quick action of the sheriff’s department, the Indiana Board of Animal Health, Shadarobah Horse Rescue and Deputy Prosecutor Leslie Shively,” said Mowery. “I do not often write press releases for misdemeanor cases, but I feel these cases warranted the attention.”
The cases have been set for initial hearing on May 4, 2020.