October 8, 2013

Skeletal horse remains found on Essex farm

Essex County DA building case against mother, daughter


Retired Veterinarian Diane Dodd also helped secure horses.

“The horses were all very emaciated from chronic malnutrition,” she said in a deposition on file with the Town Court.

“It is my opinion that Shelley Wing is an ‘animal hoarder,’” the veterinarian wrote. 

“And (she) does not have the ability, financially or physically, to feed or house her animals in a life-sustaining and healthy manner.”

The deposition continues to say that, “I know that in her (Shelley Wing’s) mind, she thinks she is doing a good job and that the horses are fine.”


Dodd also described skeletal remains.

“There were at least two skeletons in evidence in the barn,” the document states. 

The horses were kept in mixed company, with three stallions roaming free among mares.

“Her herd size continues to grow, as she has no way to keep the stallions and the mares apart,” Dodd’s statement says. “These animals were in imminent danger of not living through the winter.”

In addition, there was some indication that Shelley was not entirely cooperative when the animals were taken.

One veterinarian described the initial encounter.

“Shelley Wing was trying to drive out of the driveway. She called me a ‘witch’ and inferred I didn’t know how to drive the truck and trailer, as I could not move past her.”


Among the boxes of evidence, including veterinary exams of each horse, was an overview of the herd. Only three of the 41 animals were anywhere near normal body weight, the statements say. 

And most of the animals scored 2 or less on the Henneke Scale, an evaluation system used to assess condition of horses. Only two scored a 4 or above on the Henneke scale, where 5 is optimal.

Numerous horses had lacerations on their hips or flanks. And the foals in the herd were found to be low on the Henneke Scale “and in need of help.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
CVPH Job Opportunities