Md. Man Gets 20 Days In Jail For Livestock Abuse

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) — An Oakland man is spending the next 10 weekends in jail for animal cruelty after authorities removed 26 starving horses from his rural property in western Maryland.

Richard R. Friend, 54, and his wife Carol, 43, each pleaded guilty Tuesday in Garrett County District Court to seven misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. He got 20 days in jail, with 70 more suspended.

Each was given a suspended, $7,000 fine and they were ordered to jointly make restitution of nearly $150,000 to Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Lisbon, which received the seized horses.

Carol Friend must perform 80 hours of community service at the county animal shelter, and each is barred from owning horses during three years of supervised probation.

They were charged with 26 counts of animal cruelty after the horses, along with 18 cows and six goats, were removed from their property near Gorman in May. One horse had to be euthanized.

Investigators said they also found the remains of at least 17 animals, including 10 horses, on the Friends’ farm.

Defense attorney Robin Ficker said Wednesday his clients are remorseful. He said they like animals and even took in others’ horses, but that caring for them became too much amid circumstances including last year’s harsh winter.

“I think that due to some family problems they were having with sick relatives and the extreme weather conditions, that they unfortunately neglected some responsibilities that they hadn’t before,” Ficker said.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. oscar arvelo says:

    Red neck needs to learn you can’t hump the sheep. That’s pulling the wool over their eyes.

  2. icare says:

    Another slap on the wrist huh? Yeah that’s what is wrong with our society. Why not a year?? I realize that this happened “by accident” but that does not justify what happened. These animals were in their care and were subjected to pain and suffering and ultimately paid with their lives. The barred sentence of 3 years is too lenient and should be more like the rest of their lives. It’s possible this may happen again when the 3 years expires. And for those wondering, I am against PETA! |||| http://www.AwarenessHelps.info

  3. police31 says:

    well the two boys that set the dog on fire! in baltimore city what happen! WOW! Horse,s Dont have to brun them all you got to is dont feed them you will go to jail for 20 days this case should have been tried in baltimore city

  4. Heartwings says:

    20 days? Considering the horrible crime, that is a joke! I hope they at least do not feed them the entire time they are in jail as that would give them an idea of what they did to the horses. We all have family problems and many have financial problems these days- that is no excuse! I have pets and I know how to pick up the phone and call the SPCA if I am physically or financially unable to care for them. The courts need to start taking animal cruelty seriously! (I am not a PETA supporter either.)

  5. Jay Kristensen says:

    Twenty days for one dead horse, twenty-six starving horses, and numerous other abused animals. What a terrible example of “justice” this case is. If the animals in this case were the people’s children, there would be mobs in the streets calling for blood. And the fines and restitution are a joke – 150,000 multiplied by 26 horses comes out to less than SIX THOUSAND per horse. That’s chump change, especially when rehab and medical care is concerned.

    Sickening.

  6. Jogar642 says:

    To Jay Kristensen,I didn’t see anywhere in the article that said any horses died. You must be reading the invisible print somwhere,and if you think $150,000 dollars is “chump change” then your way better off financially than most people. That being said I agree this is a horrible crime,with no excuse. One phone call to authorities would have prevented it.I do hope the horses are recovering well.

  7. Jay K. says:

    Jogar – the article has been shortened since it was publshed. The origiginal article mentioned a dead horse, as well as almost twenty other neglected animals that were seized.

    And no, I’m not better off. I stand by my statement, since it doesn’t take a genius to understand that $150,000 does not go very far in caring for twenty-six neglected and malnourised horses. Since they (the Friends) are responsible for the horses being in that condition, they should be responsible for paying to restore them to proper health. And doing so will likely cost the Days End people much more than the slightly less than six thousand dollars per horse that the restitution breaks down to.

  8. Kathryn says:

    HAGERSTOWN, Md. — An Oakland man is spending the next 10 weekends in jail for animal cruelty after authorities removed 26 starving horses from his rural property in western Maryland.

    Richard R. Friend, 54, and his wife Carol, 43, each pleaded guilty Tuesday in Garrett County District Court to seven misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. He got 20 days in jail, with 70 more suspended.

    Each was given a suspended, $7,000 fine and they were ordered to jointly make restitution of nearly $150,000 to Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Lisbon, which received the seized horses.

    Carol Friend must perform 80 hours of community service at the county animal shelter, and each is barred from owning horses during three years of supervised probation.

    They were charged with 26 counts of animal cruelty after the horses, along with 18 cows and six goats, were removed from their property near Gorman in May. One horse had to be euthanized.

    Investigators said they also found the remains of at least 17 animals, including 10 horses, on the Friends’ farm. (therepublic.com)

    He has many previous charges for hunting violations- the man has no respect for the law & as it applies to animals. Community service- yes, but not anything that involves animals as that’s about like ordering a kid molester to do community service at a daycare. They deserve so much more than what they got!

  9. Jay K. says:

    Yep, that’s the original version of the article. Thanks Kathryn.🙂

    By the way, I TOTALLY agree. Allowing these people access to animals after the way they’ve treated the ones that were confiscated, and the slap-on-the-wrist “sentence” handed down by the judge is absolutely ludicrous.

  10. Nathan Jefferson says:

    Humans are more valuable than animals. Sorry.

    1. urnotfunny says:

      Don’t apologize for being an a-hole, that’s what you are. You’re as bad as the a-holes who starved those animals to death an obviously have the same mentality as those 2 ghettos rats that burned that dog to death in the city!

    2. Lu P. says:

      I agree that humans are more valuable. And usually have a fit because normally these judges give stiffer judgments on animal abuse then they do for child abuse. We are all mammals and need food. Most of the time people are not in a confined area with no way to get food and water.

  11. BK St-Wyatt says:

    Thanks Kathryn… that’s the real story! And Days End Farm Horse Rescue has taken-in all of the horses and goats. It costs a lot to treat and rehabilitate these very very sick horses. Veternarians, Technicians, Farriers, Trainers, and a small administrative staff along with 68 acres of pastures, turn-out sheds, barns, and a small cottage is a lot to keep up. It takes a 1/2 a bale of hay a day in winter to feed a horse. All of these horses are on special feed diets which includes special medications and supplements. They all have to have serious Farrier work (hooves) because they are so cracked and broken, some have special casts made. They all have to have serious dental work to the point their teeth are growing into their gums and the rooves of their mouths. Some are so weak they have to be put into a full body harness to stand up. So, it takes a lot of money to keep this operation going. I know its a tough economy, but even emptying your change jars out and sending it to Days End Farm Horse Rescue sure would make a world of difference. They have a website where you can donate online too. I’ve been out there before, and it is very very sad but its amazing how these dedicated people can bring back a horse from the brink.

  12. urnotfunny says:

    When it comes to animal rights, judges notoriously let people get away with abusing, starving and neglecting animals everyday. Their actions truly are reprehensible and I pray that they don’t own animals.

  13. Kathryn says:

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

    Mahatma Gandhi

  14. Lu P. says:

    Attorney uses excuse of family problems. Must have been some problem that it lasted long enough to starve these animals. The Friends should be put in cage and have no food or water for 20 days per animal they didn’t care for!

  15. gerrygriff says:

    He should be put in a cell with a horse & naked so the horse coul relieve himself up his bung hole.

  16. Lisa B says:

    I live here and will tell you that the farmer grew and sold hay, had it in his barn. Horses were dropping dead, some tried to eat tree bark to survive. They were not remorseful and tried to blame it on the weather.
    Even the judge didnt fall for it….. imagine how they suffered till they fell down and died.

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