Charges Filed in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Horse Death

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Amish Buggy
Amish buggy on a road in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, by Ad Meskens (Own work) Copyrighted free use, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

UPDATE 8/11/16: Marvin Martin Sensenig pleaded guilty to two charges of animal cruelty. He paid a $300 fine for each charge plus $152.50 in court fees, according to the York Daily Record.

Original Story:

A horse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, died on Tuesday, and after a witness account of the incident was posted to Facebook, outrage swelled quickly.

The horse, unnamed in news reports, was pulling a cart full of watermelons along with two men along Bethany Road in the rural borough of Ephrata. The horse apparently became exhausted and collapsed. According to the Ephrata Police Department, firefighters arrived at the scene and hosed the horse in order to help cool it down, but ultimately the horse did not recover and was euthanized.

Witness Tawn Crowther posted photos of the incident on Facebook along with a description of what she says happened.

“The horse was unable to pull a wagon full of watermelon and 2 grown men,” Crowther wrote. “So the Amish man walked beside the horse and beat it until it fell to the [ground]. At that point he continued to kick, hit, and pull on the poor seemingly dying animal.”

Crowther went on to say that she called the police who she says initially were unable to help because the Amish are goverened under different laws. She later updated her post to say that a police officer reached out to her and was trying to help.

Meanwhile, Crowther’s post was shared extensively on Facebook and in the local media, with many expressing outrage not just at the driver of the horse, but at the police for not taking immediate action.

The police did investigate, however, and as a result of that investigation, 20-year-old Marvin Sensenig was charged with two counts of cruelty to animals. The investigation ultimately corroborated Crowther’s account, finding that Sensenig “unreasonably struck a horse that was overburdened with a heavy load.”

The maximum penalty is a $750 fine and 90 days in jail per charge.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I at one time lived in Bluffton,In.We were close to another town that was an Amish
    Community.We shopped for food there quite
    often and always saw families on the road with their horse and buggies.Never once did we ever see nor hear anything unkind.I belive this man who beat his horse is a rare occurence.They
    reley on their horses and thetefore they treat
    them well.Please don’t blame their way of life
    because one man crossed the line.

  2. This happens a lot more often than the general public thinks. Go to the New Holland auction and watch the number of horses the Amish dump there, thin and lifeless. These horses are used as a tool and thrown away to the slaughter houses once they can’t work anymore. The public needs to be aware of how the Amish treat their animals. They’re also very well known for their atrocious puppy mills. They need to follow up on these investigations and watch these people.

  3. The Amish and Mennonite communities are known in Lancaster county for abuse and neglect of their animals. Do not support these people by purchasing their products, produce or puppies from their puppy mills.

  4. This happens a lot more often than the general public thinks. Go to the New Holland auction and watch the number of horses the Amish dump there, thin and lifeless. These horses are used as a tool and thrown away to the slaughter houses once they can’t work anymore. The public needs to be aware of how the Amish treat their animals. They’re also very well known for their atrocious puppy mills. They need to follow up on these investigations and watch these people.

  5. Yes the owner should be punished … Poor animal 80/90degree weather…he should never be allowed to have another horse ever and put on a list of convicted animal abusers with a huge fine an a huge jail sentence .. Shameful .. Would he like to be treated like that .. Or maybe he should pull a cart and in 90 degrees weather for miles .. Throw the book at him .. No ones above the law .. I’m sure there are others they just haven’t been caught !

  6. i think it was outright, blatant and deliberate murder and the amish man should be charged with a more serious crime, whatever may apply…

  7. Thanks to the lady for reporting this Amish man. No body is above the law and he needs jail time and a fine. Nothing can ever justify animal abuse.

  8. If he doesn’t get the pitiful small punishment the law allows, then I Will ne enraged! What does he do in the privacy of his barn and home???

  9. OMG – 90 days in jail and that’s it??? Will he even get that, or just have to pay the fine. Bless that poor horse as his suffering has ended, and he will never have to be treated like that again. It breaks my heart to know he had to die like this. This man is an inhumane piece of garbage, and I hope he burns in hell for this.

  10. More of these stories need to come to light. The laws in the US should be the ONLY laws, enforced by the US, no matter what “religion” maybe involved! Cruelty is cruelty, no matter how you spell the word! This story needs to continue to be circulated and others like it, as well. We are not an inhumane country, but, for some reason, parts of us seems to persist that cruelty needs to exist??

  11. NOT NEARLY ENOUGH OF A PUNISHMENT. THESE AMISH JERKS TREAT ALL THEIR “LIVESTOCK” LIKE CRAP…….. THEY ARE HORRENDOUS TOWARDS THEIR HORSES AND ARE THE WORST PUPPY MILLS TO BE FOUND. THEY ARE “INSPECTED” BY THE USDA AND ANIMALS ARE FOUND TO BE IN WONDERFUL CONDITION. RIBS, DISEASES, FEMALE DOGS BEING BRED FROM 6 MONTHS UNTIL THEY CANT’ PRODUCE ANYMORE OR DIE. WHEN THEY BECOME NON-PROFIT FOR THESE S.O.B’S, THEY ARE KILLED AND TOSSED INTO A FIELD. I HAVE NEVER SEEN AN AMISH HORSE IN GOOD WEIGHT. THEY LEAVE THEM TIED OUT IN THE SUN WITH NO WATER.AMISH IS NOTHING BUT A SICK CULT THAT ARE ABUSIVE TO ALL THEIR ANIMALS…………….

  12. This man (monster) needs more done to him than a small fine and a little jail time, what is the true Amish Mafia when you need them.

  13. Brutal !!! A few months in jail is not enough. You think he’s Amish not capable of brutality, Wrong!
    I hope he rots in jail. I despise anyone who abuse defenseless animals.

  14. I think this man should be asked to pull a cart and then when cannot, be beaten. What kind of religion that he belongs to sanctions that kind of brutality!

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