16 emaciated horses taken from owner on Kauai
By Pamela Varma Brown
Special to The Garden Island
KAPAIA — The Kauai Humane Society seized 16 horses in emaciated and dehydrated condition from a property off Maalo Road on Sunday after investigating calls from people concerned about "skinny" horses, said Dr. Rebecca Rhoades, KHS executive director.
Lara Butler-Brady, owner of Keapana Horsemanship, was issued citations for 16 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals, each count a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
"This is the largest cruelty case involving this many horses I know of in recent Hawaii," said Rhoades, who is a veterinarian.
She spent most of Monday personally caring for many of the horses at the KHS Puhi shelter.
"They are all doing OK. We are starting then slow with small amounts of food several times a day in addition to pasture," Rhoades said.
Seized were four stunted, emaciated yearlings, four emaciated adult horses, two emaciated ponies, five very thin adult horses and one very thin adult pony, Rhoades said. All the horses are in protective custody, some at a private pasture and others at the humane society.
Rhoades said she hopes Butler-Brady agrees to surrender the animals so they can be adopted out to good homes. If there is a criminal trial, the animals would be held by the humane society for many months before they can be adopted, Rhoades said.
Butler-Brady, who apparently lives on the leased pasture land, could not be reached for comment Monday. It is not known if she has a lawyer.
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