73 Horses Rescued from Northern New York Farm

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Over 120 different animals were seized from the Eden Farm in New York
Dr. Christina Cable and Dr. Michael Ball from the Early Winter Equine Medicine & Surgery in  Ithaca, NY., with Richard Ryan of the ASPCA’s Volunteer Response team, conduct a dental and hoof exam on one of the 73 horses rescued on March 18th from an East Aurora, NY farm by the SPCA Serving Erie County. Photo courtesy ASPCA

On March 18, the SPCA Serving Erie County, New York, responded to complaints of neglect at Eden Farm in East Aurora, New York. The resulting rescue is believed to be the largest seizure of animals in the area’s history with 73 horses, 53 cats and four dogs removed from the property.

According to Gina Browning of the Erie County SPCA, the horses were confined to the barns, which were reported to be in deplorable condition. Construction on one of the barns appeared to be incomplete with exposed nails and broken wood around the horses. The interior of the stalls had manure solidly packed along the floors, on the walls, and even in the horses’ water sources.

Eden Farm’s website, which has not been updated since 2008, shows healthy, well-groomed and well-bred Morgan horses. A collection of ads placed in glossy, show horse magazines from 2007 and earlier depict horses meticulously groomed and cared for.

Eden Farm’s owner/manager, Beth Lynne Hoskins, made waves in the relatively small Morgan breed in the early 2000s when she acquired more than 30 horses to launch a full-scale breeding operation. That initial herd included a coveted broodmare band and a stallion that was one of the first registered pinto Morgans, though according to the AMHA registry database he has no registered offspring. How the promising farm went from its earlier idyllic state to the conditions the SPCA discovered remains uncertain.

When the horses were taken off the property, many had severely overgrown hooves and some had minor injuries including hoof abscesses. Most had manure matted in their coats, manes and tails. Many of the horses were underweight, and fecal testing revealed worm infestations. The horses have received deworming and veterinary treatment and at this time, all are expected to recover.

Hoskins, the owner, began Eden as a breeding operationThough are no curernt charges against the animals’ owner, Browning says that they will be filed. The horses are currently at an undisclosed location where they are being cared for by SPCA staff and volunteers. The dogs and cats are undergoing veterinary evaluation at the SPCA’s shelter. Until a case comes about, it is uncertain how long the animals will remain in SPCA custody or whether they will ultimately be put up for adoption.

A grant of $10,000 was given to the SPCA of Erie County by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the local equestrian community has donated many of the urgently needed farm supplies. For those interested in donating to the SPCA to help offset the cost of feed, bedding and veterinary care, a fund has been set up specifically for these horses. Donations are accepted on the Erie County SPCA’s website or by calling Bethany at 716-629-3532.

11 COMMENTS

  1. That is so sad! I just rescued a horse from a bad situation but not as bad as this. Will they be put up for adoption? If they are ever put up for adoption I would be willing to help with re-homing them, as a situation like this makes me sick.

  2. This is so super sad that people can do this to horses!! The people need to be put in jail or something done more that a simple fine! If they become up for adoption I would be more than happy to adopt one!!

  3. i live 3 hours away and i’m appalled at this!! how could anyone do this. she could have sold them to good homes to prevent this. i’m so sick over this!!

  4. I am very proud to see the authorities have taken action and are caring for the horses and other animals on this ranch. I work with a variety of horse rescues to assist in funding efforts to save slaughter bound horses and burros lives and get them homed and to rescue centers so they may get appropriate vet and ferrier careand regain the weight lost from all that has happened to them. These horses are in auction to slaughter kill pens and we are making great strides to secure bail transport and vet and ferrier care.I am sure I can speak freely in saying that we appreciate your great efforts and hope they will also go to good homes and not end up in the kill pens of NY. Keep up the good work. Now if we could get this kind of response to the Slaughter houses ( Canada and Mexico)and the suffering that our national heritage the horses and burros go threw even before and enduring the slaughter process.There are laws that are being broken there also.Please I speak for every rescue that has to bail horses to save their lives.We are hoping it will stop and the monies can go to caring for the animals instead.

  5. and she will likely be prosecuted. The SPCA is looking for caring and loving homes for the horses… I hope she never lays claim to being a rsponsible owner of another horse. It just should not be…

  6. I was there from day 1- it was disgraceful. The conditions were diplorable & very unsanitary. I’ve been around horses for more than 30 yrs & I’ve never seen anything like this before. It brought tears to my eyes and made me sick to my stomach.

  7. Update: It is June 2013 and the summations were completed Friday, placing the verdict in the hands of the judge. The SPCA is suing for $900K for care of the horses for the past 3 years. She is countersuing for $2 million for defamation of character. Hopefully there is a verdict soon.

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