Fight Continues Over Horses Seized From Farm

November 15, 2010 Updated Nov 15, 2010 at 8:44 PM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

November 15, 2010 Updated Nov 15, 2010 at 8:44 PM EDT

TOWN OF AURORA, NY (WKBW) -- The battle continues over 70 horses seized last March from the Eden Farm in the Town of Aurora, owned by Beth Hoskins. "Only one of the 73 horses that we seized that day was of proper weight, only one. That speaks for itself," Erie County SPCA Executive Director Barbara Carr said. "They were forced to live in these poor conditions with sharp breaks in the wall and huge holes between the stalls...Hoskins horses were never exercised, never had freedom of movement, left always in these stalls with such cumulated feces, that even turning around could be difficult for the horses."

"The horses were sleeping in manure and feces and breathing unhealthy air all day, every day," Dr. Jean Feldman, a veterinarian who helped rescue the horses, said.

The SPCA is still in possession of 33 of the horses but 40 of them were returned to Hoskins over the summer. The SPCA is still fighting that decision in court and pushing for a hearing to try and get financial support in caring for the horses. "It costs $22.50 daily to care for each horse," Erie County SPCA Board President Larry Robb said. "Like to expedite the court process, obviously the sooner the judge takes action hopefully the sooner we'll have to stop paying for these animals."

The SPCA says it regularly visits the farm to check on the horses that have been returned. "We went out Thursday...inspected each of the horses individually," SPCA officer Lindsay Styborski said. "We have found that in the several months that she has had her horses back...this is the first time in how many months that an animal actually has been outside."

Beth Hoskins says otherwise, that they're haven't been any violations and she continues to make adjustments to the farm to properly care for her horses. "Have my veterinarian of 11 years out on a regular basis... I always have for 35 years of doing horses," Hoskins said. "We've had 40 {horses} back so far and I'm looking forward to bringing the rest of my animals home. We are looking forward to presenting our case...there are some constitutional issues that I'm looking forward to having argued regarding my basic constitutional rights and the entire validity of the case."

The SPCA says it needs additional support from the public since it's already spent more than $300,000 on these horses. "It costs $22.50 daily to care for each horse, costs per month per horse $675 dollars," Robb said. "Total monthly care for the 33 horses that are still in our possession is $22, 275. Our only support is from the public, so we need the public to know the situation we're in...this community gives us a lot of support already but we need their help more than ever right now."

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