BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Carroll County woman who faced more than 64 counts of animal cruelty charges for the neglect of dozens of horses will serve probation after accepting a plea agreement Wednesday.
Nichole Reinke, 49, will serve five years of probation, the first three of them under supervision, the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office said.READ MORE: Two Teenagers Shot, One Killed, At Inner Harbor During Memorial Day Weekend, Police Say
Carroll County Animal Control seized 17 of 78 horses at Misty Meadows Farm in Marriotsville in December 2020. Judith Reinke, Nichole Reinke’s mother, owned the property at the time, but died in January 2021 before charges were filed.
Court records show Nichole Reinke was the beneficiary of a trust and took over the farm when her mother died. An investigation led to her being charged last October as one of the caretakers of the horses on the farm.
The statement of probable cause painted a picture of an ongoing problem at the farm. According to the court documents obtained by WJZ last year, some animals were in such bad shape that they had to be euthanized.READ MORE: Jarrettsville Young Marines Honor Fallen Heroes, Prepare For Memorial Day
Some horses had low Body Condition Scores, which is often an indication of poor nutrition “that leads to starvation,” according to charging documents.
Problems included sores in the mouth of a female horse, and another animal had “…a potentially pre-cancerous growth on her right eyelid.” The records indicated several animals had “rain rot,” a severe skin infection.
Under the terms of her probation, Reinke must consent to random inspections by animal control, maintain veterinarian and farrier care for each animal on the property, maintain detailed records of the veterinarians used for all the animals owned or boarded on the property, and she may not own more than 24 horses on any property owned or leased by her.
Reinke will also continue to work with the Maryland Department of Agriculture Nutrient Management Program and Carroll County Soil Conservation District to maintain appropriate nutrient management, water and soil conservation plan for her property.MORE NEWS: Baltimore City And Surrounding Communities Experiencing High Community Transmission Of COVID-19
Prosecutors said before making the plea offer, Reinke had to meet certain conditions, which included her successful completion of several courses in land management and equine management.