ELIZABETHTOWN — Some horses seized from the Wing and a Prayer Farm in September have new homes, while the rest are available for adoption
Crane Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, an accredited horse-rescue group, is handling the process and will hold an open house on Saturday to preview the animals available.
By Monday morning, more than a dozen of the horses had already been adopted.
CRANE IN CHARGE
The horses — 41 in all, including foals and three stallions — were taken from the Essex farm on 20 acres owned by Shelley Wing.
She and her daughter, Emily Wing, face 41 counts each of failure to provide sustenance, a misdemeanor under State Agriculture and Markets Law.
The county took custody of the herd initially on Sept. 18 through the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. And legal proceedings against the Wings are moving through Essex Town Court.
Shelley was required to bond for $43,890 by Oct. 8 to provide a month’s medical care and food for the animals as they remained in county custody. The failure to pay the bond, which would have been renewed continuing costs every 30 days, released the horses to Essex County.
The Essex County Board of Supervisors hired Crane Mountain Horse Rescue, based in Westport, to organize the adoption effort.
One of the horses died soon after the seizure, leaving 40 to find new homes.
In an announcement Monday, Crane Horse Rescue owner Nancy Van Wie said the animals’ health and condition have improved immensely since they were taken in mid September.
“All of the horses have gained weight and vitality. Each horse has been checked for internal parasites, dewormed, brought up to date on vaccinations and has a negative Coggins report. A negative Coggins test for equine infectious anemia is required in New York state to transport horses,” the Crane news release said.
“The horses have been in the care and custody of Essex County and Essex County Sheriff’s Department, the impounding agent, since the seizure. Most of the horses are at the fairgrounds, while others are at private farms.
“The county is grateful to those who have made cash donations for the horses’ care and to those who have donated feed, shavings, wheelbarrows, buckets, hoses and other items and to those who have loaned round pens for turnout, exercise and grazing.”
The adoptive process involves some continued access by the Sheriff’s Department. Major David Reynolds said they had asked that the Sheriff’s Department be allowed to obtain photographs of each of the horses as the case continues.
“We were taking photos weekly, and now we are stretching it out monthly,” he said.
Thus far, Reynolds said, no plea has been entered by the defendants.
16 HAVE HOMES
Ready for adoption, the horses are identified by number, and photographs of each animal are posted on Crane Mountain’s website.
On Monday, the farm said, 16 of the horses had already been adopted.
One of them was given a tribute name, and Crane Mountain shared a short story about that adoption on its Facebook page Monday morning:
“We learned this morning that little #34, who was adopted (Sunday), has been named Reko in honor of 6-year-old Jessica Rekos, who died too young in the Newtown, CT, school shooting,” the horse rescue farm relayed.
“The woman who adopted #34 read the tribute to Jessica Rekos in our spring newsletter and was instantly struck by how each of us can do something to help make this world better. To us, it’s a little like paying it forward.
“Our friend and donor Jessica Betterly made a gift from Colorado to honor a little girl who died too young in CT, and now a little horse in NY saved from a horrible situation will carry that little girl’s name — the little girl who loved horses…”
Email Kim Smith Dedam:firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO ADOPT
Those wishing to adopt one of the seized horses must have filled out the application before attending the open house from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Essex County Fairgrounds.
Call Crane Mountain at 962-8512 to obtain the form.
See photos of the horses at: www.cmvhr.org/new41horseseizure.html. Crane updates the ongoing adoption process at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crane-Mountain-Valley-Horse-Rescue-Inc/281343055215433.