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Ingrahams convicted of animal cruelty

Published: 6/13/2011
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By Maddy Butcher Gray

One year and six days after horses and other animals were seized from their farm, Brett and Alexis Ingraham were found guilty of criminal animal cruelty in Cumberland County Superior Court.
The Ingrahams pleaded ‘no contest’ and Justice Roland Cole immediately found them guilty, on Friday, June 10, 2011. All of the animal cruelty counts were against horses.
Fifteen horses as well as dogs, pigs, and additional animals were seized from the Ingrahams last year and are reportedly doing well.
Sentences for Alexis and Brett Ingraham, including possible jail time, restitution, and bans from owning horses in the future, will be handed down by Justice Cole in Kennebec County Superior Court, June 29.
The convictions cap a year of frustration and passionate lobbying, formal and informal statements by the Maine horse community.
Many felt the state Animal Welfare program dragged its heels in righting an obvious wrong and keeping horses from harm. Scores wrote to Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle about their experiences with the Ingrahams.
For months, skinny horses could be seen with little hay, water, or protection from the elements at the Ingrahams’ farm, Fair Play Farm, on Tardiff Road in Clinton.
Meris Bickford filed a complaint with Animal Welfare in February, 2010, detailing her observations. Click here to read her complaint.
Said Bickford after their convictions: “It is satisfying that the system intervened on behalf of the animals. I wish it had happened more quickly.”
The District Attorney’s office will submit statements arguing for appropriate sentencing, perhaps including a lifetime ban on equine ownership. The public may submit letters.

Send to:
District Attorney Evert N. Fowle
Kennebec County Superior Court
95 State Street
Augusta, ME  04330-5611

To read Kennebec Journal article, click here.

View Reader Comments:

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6/13/2011 Lyndsey Lewis
Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!
6/13/2011 Cheryl Trimpop
A huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard to see this through. This is great news. It has restored to me some faith in the system. Perhaps this will serve as a wake up call to others - to both perpetrators and to those in power who could have done something sooner. Hopefully, the sentences will include jail time. It would also be fitting if they were made to perform SUPERVISED community service focused on the rehabilitation of animals who have fallen prey to others like them. I imagine the biggest glitch here would be trying to find someone who could actually stomach having the likes of these people in their company. It's very bothersome to think they've produced a child. Thank you again for your efforts.
6/13/2011 Rachel
Its time people like this be severely punished, thank God this is not bad in the Western days I love to beat the crap out of them. I have 3 of my own and I tape them every week to be sure, it drives me crazy to know things like this happen.
6/13/2011 Linda
Thanks to all involved for getting the job done, as well as Maddy and Nicker News for keeping us all informed. We'll see where the next step goes. At least they have been found guilty. They should never own another horse.
6/13/2011 Me
I guess I will hold on to my woohoo's until June 29th to see what they actually get for doing all this to all these animals .. Once I see they are really going to be punished then every one for miles from my house well hear my whoopiessssssss.... I can't for the life of me understand tho why they are not getting more, considering there was dogs also involoved and they are domesticated ( spelling ) animals and they should be getting the book thrown at them on that alone... besides even if they say no animals can be owned by them forever , they well just go on with buisness as usual and just keep everything in his or her parents names ...I pray they DO have to pay and pay dearly for what they have done and what SHE has been doing for years !!! we can all hope and pray .... I was very sick to see all the ads they still displaied for hauling horses , rideing lessons , buying and selling horses, and even boarding !!! UGH!!!!!!! Sad part is there are people out there who have still no idea as to who and what they are and well pay them money to take care of thier horses , makes me shiver !!!!
6/13/2011 Robert Morin
As great as this news is lets stop and look at the overall picture. This sorry case for a human is basically getting a slap on the hand.What we need is to have the laws re done. When it comes to our animal friends and laws protecting them the laws are a joke and a bad one at that. What will it take to get the laws re written so someone like this gets years behind bars with no parole.
6/13/2011 sonia
I am so glad the surviving animals are recovering. Thank you to Maddy, Meris and all the other people who stuck their necks out, for getting the word out to save these animals. Hopefully this will get a message to people to ask for help if they cannot feed/finance a number of horses, and not to be backyard breeders and make more horses who may end up in the same situation.
6/14/2011 Goin' Broke Farm
So glad that the horses that could be saved....were and that they didn't get away with it!! They can't own horses for how long? Is it just in Maine?
6/17/2011 Shannon Lack
finally. been long road on this story and when this first came to light.
6/17/2011 Michelle H
I agree with Maddy. Let's wait and see what kind of sentence they get. It is my understanding that only 15 horses were seized by the state. Where are the rest that were in their posession at the time?
6/17/2011 Kim
Personally I think they should be tied in a barn or to a tree, standing in manure (human since it smells more), not fed, not watered, being chewed up by bugs for the next 36 months.
6/28/2011 Me
Well the 29th is tomorrow , im awaiting to hear the out come of thier sentenceing... im praying they get what's coming to them an more .. My WOOOHOOO's have been bottled up and are dieing to come screaming out ,, Oh Lord let it go as it should, so i can scream them to the top of my voice !
5/30/2012 Jessica
How are these people selling/breeding horses again so quick? I saw more of their horse up for sale?

"My horses are my friends, not my slaves" - Dr. Reiner Klimke