Roughly six months after being convicted of 19 counts of animal abuse, a Saratoga County woman finds herself in trouble with the law once again. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, this time, Ann Arnold may be headed to jail.
GREENFIELD CENTER, N.Y. – "For those horses to be back on that property in the condition that property is in when the court system said [no way], it's very disturbing,” said Cathy Cloutier, executive director of the SPCA of Upstate New York.
Roughly six months after she was found guilty of abusing animals, Greenfield Center resident Ann Arnold is once again in trouble with the law.
In May, the 58-year-old was convinced of 19 counts of animal cruelty after authorities found 19 malnourished and neglected horses on the farm. At sentencing, a judge ruled she could no longer keep horses on the premises for the next three years.
"In my mind, and we intend to prove this in court, there is no way that she could not understand the terms and conditions and she clearly should not have horses at that location," Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said.
Yet officials say this weekend, Arnold blatantly violated that order when 17 horses were moved to the farm from a family owned property in Washington County.
While the animals, easily visible from the road, appear to be in good health, Murphy filed a Violation of Probation notice with the Greenfield Town Court.
"Regardless of what's going on inside her head, we have an obligation to protect these animals,” Murphy said. “The last animals that were there were tortured."
In addition to moving the animals to her property, Murphy says Arnold, who was not home Wednesday afternoon, has refused the judge's order to undergo a psych evaluation and reimburse the county for care of the animals. If convicted of violating her probation, she faces up to one year in jail.
"I think initially we would not have necessarily sought jail time,” said Murphy. “I think at this point, if she's in violation, I think our position will have changed.”
"If it's a year in jail and that year in jail is going to get this person the help and therapy they need to know what they did, is it enough? I don't know, I really don't know," Cloutier said.
Arnold is due back in court next Tuesday.