Horses removed from troubled farm in Greenfield

GREENFIELD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The SPCA removed some malnourished horses from a farm with a troubled history.

Saratoga County issued a removal of the animals from a farm at 131 Wilton Greenfield Rd. in Greenfield after several court cases dating back to 2011. Prior owner Ann Arnold was accused of not properly caring for animals at the farm. Her brother and current owner and caretaker, 55-year-old Duane Carpenter, was arrested in February. He was charged with 12 counts of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals, as well as Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance.

Duane Carpenter
Duane Carpenter

Thirteen horses on the farm were seized.

“It was a good day for the horses today, and they’re in the right place now,” Cathy Cloutier, Executive Director of the SPCA of Upstate New York, said.

One by one they were loaded into trailers to be brought to their new homes. Monica Coville is the Director of Equine Rescue League of Cooperstown.

“There’s horses going to Rochester; there’s horses going downstate to Orange County,” she said. “I’m taking two horses to Cooperstown; there’s some horses staying in the area. They definitely needed to get out of here today.”

Conditions where the horses were kept on the farm were described as deplorable. According to officials, no food, water or sustenance was provided by the owners.

“We have boards with nails in it; we have round pen gates just sticking up in the air,” Cloutier described.

After 4.5 years of court battles, officials and volunteers called the seizure a success.

“What’s happening today is a result of all of those tireless efforts on behalf of the citizens of this community and surrounding areas,” Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said. “We know what we’ve been doing, and we’ve been doing what justice calls us to do and that is to follow the legal system and follow the process here, and what’s happening today is a result of all of those tireless efforts.”

Heggen said there are charges still pending in Greenfield Town Court against Carpenter. She said the case will proceed forward.

But Carpenter said the claims of abuse are untrue.

“When my case is appealed to a higher court and someone who has a better understanding of the law makes the decision, you will see that this case will be overturned,” he said.

This week, Carpenter failed to pay $13,000 to have his horses cared for at a boarding facility. He had to give up ownership of them.

“My horses are well cared for,” he said. “They’re in good health.”

Heggen, a veterinarian in the case, authorities, and the Upstate NY SPCA, however, said the horses went without food, water, vet care, and they lived in a dangerous pasture.

But there is one thing Carpenter and Coultier agree on.

“It’s difficult for me to understand why it takes so long,” Carpenter said.

Coultier said the court system kept the horses in a bad environment.

“I wish the laws could change so that when you’re talking about living creatures, it’s done in a more reasonable amount of time,” she said.

The SPCA was tasked with checking on the property over the past few months, and they provided food and water and some veterinarian care to the horses during that time.

Carpenter is due back in court for another ongoing case pertaining to the care of the horses that were removed.

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