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Clinton Horses Still Suffering

Published: 2/14/2010
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Not Waiting for another Lincoln County nightmare...

By Maddy B. Gray

Growing outrage...

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News has spread quickly about the farm in Clinton, Maine, where I recently witnessed many distressed horses and shabby shelters.
Friday, Vivien Leigh of WCSH 6 in Portland interviewed me. I told her this is a two-pronged story: the visible-from-the-road neglect AND the ongoing complacency by the Animal Welfare program of the Department of Agriculture.
Leigh later called to say WCSH was postponing the story to give the farm manager time to contact her attorney.
Let's not wait until the carcasses start piling up.
To read the complaint sent last week to Animal Welfare, click here.
NickerNews readers are well aware of the wretched scene in Waldoboro, Lincoln County where seven horses died before authorities intervened. Click here and go to December blog entries to for the story.
Even if you disregard the condition of the horses, the farm is clearly in violation of statutes regarding proper shelter and manure management.
Please read on and click to pages for highlights of NickerNews correspondence:

Readers have contacted me with information of neglect dating back months and years.

Read Maine Public Broadcasting Network's story by clicking here
Read about dozens of Searsport horses left to die by clicking here

To read about Creepy, click here.
To read Tony LaPore’s conversation with NickerNews click here

As readers know from past articles and blog posts, NickerNews is all about the horse. Here is our wish list, in order of priority:
1. To remove these horses from the farm.
2. To see that the state investigate individuals responsible for abuse/neglect.
3. To see that the state prosecute them and assure that they no longer have the right to own animals.
4. To see that the state reconsider the policies, budget, protocol, and operations of the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Program.
5. To follow the progress of these actions through to a positive end and to contribute to the process in a manner benefiting these horses and future horses falling victim to neglect/abuse.

According to a national report, Maine has the second toughest statutes in the country to protect animals from neglect and abuse. Clearly, there is a disconnect between the law and the enforcement.

Department of Agriculture, Commissioner Seth Bradstreet 207 287-3419
State veterinarian Don Hoenig, 207 287-3701
Norma Worley, Director of Animal Welfare 207 287-3846
State Police 866-2121
Clinton Police Dept. 207 426-9192

Other officials to contact:

Evert Fowle, DA for Kennebec and Somerset counties: 207 623-1156
Governor Baldacci’s office 207 287-3531

Later, WCSH said one Dept. of Agriculture official reported they have No Problem with Any of the animals at this farm.
BUT, Commissioner Seth Bradstreet has told others that agents are visiting this farm daily and conducting an investigation.
An email from Animal Welfare director Norma Worley stated:
"Humane agents and the state veterinarian from the Department's Animal Welfare Program have been to the farm three times in the last couple of weeks.
We are treating the matter seriously. There is an active investigation. We are working to establish the facts and gather information. At the same time, there is ongoing collaboration between the farm's vet and our vet who are developing a "herd management plan."

"The farm is in the business of buying and selling horses. At the moment there are between 50 and 60 on site. Out of that number, we estimate that fewer than a dozen are thin. We are also checking to determine how long the horses have been on site. Recently purchased horses can sometimes arrive at the farm thin and in need of proper care."

"We are continuing both to investigate the operations and to work with the vet and owners to provide proper care of the animals."

View Reader Comments:

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2/14/2010 Becky
Dear Maddy and Nickernews, Thank you for posting these stories. We are opening eyes to what is happening behind closed doors in the equine community and the AWP. I thank you and look forward to how this story continues to unfold!
2/14/2010 Michele
I do understand that in the public our state claims zero tolerance for animal abuse and claims to have to highest animal abuse laws.. At this point in time I see that the only ones with ZERO TOLERANCE TO ANIMAL ABUSE would be US the good citizens of Maine and the USA.. Not the Government Not the State and its high level employee's etc. ... I am very ashamed of our State officials and Animal welfare system at this point.. We need change. And as soon as this horrific case is taken care of and the animals are safe. Hopefully we can all get some change in the people assigned to the tasks of aniaml welfare and get some new faces with heart a dedication. For now we need to focus on the Clinton Maine situation and find a way to get something done right now before the next loads ships out north or another poor creature dies of neglect. This person has posted for ever looking for free horses. This is all over the internet.
2/14/2010 Anne Wight
We need to stop this abuse with our heads and not our hearts. The State cannot hide behind budget cuts and lack of personnel when laws require them to take action. I will be contacting everyone in legislature in my district as well as those currently running for office. I hope others will do so as well. Most, if not all, have email address that can be found on the Internet. Thanks, Maddy.
2/14/2010 Lisa
[please note -- NickerNews is compiling a list of those willing to foster and will present it to state officials this week] In her comment here, Lisa proposes to make a similar list... Hi all, I would like to compile a list of people who could take some of the horses if they are seized. Here's what I need: 1. How many horses could you house. 2. Would you need to be reimbursed or could you afford to foster them (free of charge) 3. If your not able to house an animal would you be interested in helping financially to someone who could? 4. Would you be able to help with transportation? 5. Would you be able to volunteer to take care of a horse(s) at someone else's farm? Please email me at Please also include your full name and phone number(s). I don't know that these horses will be seized (we can only pray) however I've compiled a list like this before for the state (Norma) and it helped. This gives them a new direction if they choose to take it, we will see. Please be aware that this list and info will be passed on to the state. Lisa Bosse
2/14/2010 Michelle
We have to understand that until Animal Welfare gets moving NOT ONE OF US WILL BE ABLE TO HELP NOT EVEN ONE HORSE.. People have offered while standing at the farm talking with the owners to purchase and have been refused. People have offered to purchase babys unable to stand on their own and have been refused.. These people do not want our help. They are making out much better with the states help.. Fuel the fire, finance the operation etc.. Why ask for help when you have a government organization funding your practice.. JUST MY ANGRY OPINION
2/14/2010 Michelle
This is in fact the old PDQ farm.. But this is in no way affiliated with Ivy. Ivy has this property listed for sale and has leased it to these people and I am sure she is trying to figure a legal way out of the lease as we speak.. (I would be)... This entire situation is In my opinion is leaving a huge black mark on the fond memories many youngster have of their time spent at PDQ. THIS SITUATION IS COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY SOMEONE DIFFERENT AND NOT AFFILIATED WITH IVY OR PDQ... I personally never saw a starving horse on that farm while it was PDQ. I personally summer camp leased my horses there while it was PDQ. And if It became PDQ again one day i myself would again be more then happy to lease my horses to PDQ for summer camp again
2/14/2010 Michelle
2/14/2010 Michele
We know they have the farm in Burnham TO BRING THEM TO but Mr. I. has a huge farm south of here that he has excess too.. Its a cow farm I believed owned by his parents.. Anyone know where it is...
2/14/2010 Joe
Word has it they've shipped out//dumped the horses -- either to the family farm on Pond Road in Burnham OR at a place near the Knox show ring...because Ingraham has family there. Ingraham's family owns an equipment place there. Let's not let these dirtbags get away with this!! Road trip anyone? If you go, take camera and notebook and stay safe!
2/14/2010 Michelle
Come pick me up Im on the way.. Albion.. Im ready for a road trip...
2/14/2010 RL
I have been by the farm and there are far fewer horses visible - either moved or hidden - not the actions of people with nothing to hide.
2/14/2010 Michelle
Someone with the knowledge of the location of the Litchfield and Burnhan dumping sites needs to go check those ASAP
2/14/2010 Michelle
As we all know it is not a safe choice to go and find out what is going on and where these horses are going to ALONE.... Team work my friends. If anyone goes you must and i repeat MUST have a partner.. I am ready to go.. But am still in need of a partner.. Any takers.. Obviously we must collect as much evidence as we can since the Animal welfare dont seem to be.,. And If they dont use our evidence well Im and damn sure the media will.
2/14/2010 Michelle
email me .... bluangel1314 at hotmail dot com.... Im ready for a road trip. are you
2/14/2010 Kaitlyn
I to can also testify that this farm (Fair Play) has NOTHING to do with Ivy or PDQ other than the fact that Fair Play Farm is leasing the property from Ivy. I was a working stuednt at PDQ from November 2008 to June 2009 and I never saw a skinny horse in my time there. I even boarded 2 of my own horses there and wouldnt hesitate to do it again. Ivy is a good woman with a good reputation and her name should not be dragged through the mud on account of this other womans poor decisions and actions...
2/14/2010 Janet Tuttle
If the state says they are investigating this which is a joke but anyway why are they letting horses still come and better yet LEAVE why didnt they just stop all sales and horses leaving take a head count and and pictures of all horses on the property and then they would have something to go by . But we all no the answere to that. Because that would meane they would really be doing what they are supposed to do hum now some of the horses i have been told are being moved. and i wonder if that poor little app baby is still alive my gut tells me no.AND i am sure some of the worst are gone allso and now the animal welfare can say we found nothing wrong . And we all have told norma and the other so called animal people up there we would help in any way i have some room i have trailers and have offerd any help i can give them but when people like them go ona power trip they do not wont our help.and because of the God complex thay seem to have the poor animals have to suffer for it that whole dep. should be ashamed of themselfs Thank You Janet Tuttle
2/14/2010 Becky
Please take a minute to look at the links on the upper part of this page. To Creepy and Paula. What happened to Creepy happened at Alexis' Burnham Maine farm, at her hands and that of her parents, Roger and Betty Pelletier. I was in the Burnham barn and on the property in Nov 2002. There were several extremely thin horses and with what happened to Creepy I thought for sure AWP would do somehthing, but no. Anyway that was the first clean up I know of, where they shot the thinnest horses, hauled a few away and hauled in hay and feed for the horses. So they got this down to a science. I'm getting away from my point tho. In 2002 they had less than 20 horses, I can't remember how many exactly but it was under 20. About 2 yrs ago when their name came up again I checked out her site and counted 37, still nothing happened. Now we are talking 50, maybe 60 horses. Gosh, maybe if AWP has done something earlier we would be looking at 20-30, not closing in on 100. JMHO!!! Then there is Paula, not from Alexis but still another AWP screw up, complaint, visit, will follow up, never go back, now this girl has as many if not more in crappy condition and stands a stud still, ugh! So, that is 3 horses that I personally have assisted when the state would or could not. I'd say what happened to both Creepy and Paula was criminal, wouldn't you?
2/14/2010 Becky
OH and read Tony's statement. It's not good there at all.
2/14/2010 Becky
Also check this out, now over 2 yrs old, this is us reaching out and offering stalls for the 30 Searsport horses, I do believe after like 5 yrs the owner surrended what was left, like 8 of them, many horses died in this case as well, so sad, but again here is proof of our unused efforts to help. Check wlbz archives.
Watch channel 5 (CBS) - they're running the story.
2/15/2010 Becky J.
Keep your eyes out for the "dealer" that is also trucking and working with this farm, and many others reported in here. (grey stock trailer and white ford p/u). This is only one farm that is in this central maine ring of neglectful horse "dealers" trying to make a profit off the bad horse economy. Beware when buying and selling your horses. unfortunately I know first-hand of this circle of horse traders.
2/18/2010 shilo
It's pretty sad when people assume stuff about a farm. They rent it so why would they spend money to fix it up. If they didn't take in those TB's then they would be shipped out to Canada for dog food. I used to get in off track TB's to traine and they came to me skin and bones because of the neglect at the track. They are very hard to put weight on and keep weight on. If the horses were that bad off than the state would have taken them already. I think it is rude of you guys to stress alexes out when she is expecting a child.
2/18/2010 Elaine
I too have taken in TB for more years than I can count and it so hard to get them through the first winter. I commend these people for trying because if you are a person off the street that doesn't know what the transition is like or you don't have your vet close by, you can lose the horse.
2/18/2010 Lee
How much shelter does a wild horse have? Horses would much rather be outside in any weather than be cooped up in a 10X10 stall. My own horses are out 27/7. They have the option to go in the barn but dont. Stop treating horses like they are hairless and spineless humans!

"Love means attention, which means looking after the things we love. We call this stable management." - George H. Morris