Horse owner sentenced in cruelty case

INDIANAPOLIS - A Jay County woman has been sentenced to nine months of probation after pleading guilty to one charge of animal cruelty, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.

As Kenney reported earlier this year, Jay County Prosecutor Wes Schemenaur filed four charges of animal cruelty against Karen Barron, of 650 W. 650 in Bryant, Indiana, after authorities found one horse at Barron's property was in such poor condition it had to be euthanized and taken to Purdue University for a necropsy.

Schemenaur said Tuesday Barron received a one year suspended sentence and was ordered to pay restitution for the care and housing of the animals that were removed from her property.

PHOTOS: Neglected horses seized in Jay County

"That amount will be determined by the probation department and the humane society," Schemenaur said. "She is not permitted to possess horses while on probation."

According to the probable cause report, one of the horses on Barron's property starved to death and was infested with parasites.

Barron's attorney Donald Dunnuck said Barron is a truck driver who entrusted the care of the horses to her son while she was on the road.

"She's not an evil person, she's a good lady," Dunnuck said Tuesday. "Her neglect was that she was not home enough to take care of the horses."

Authorities also found several other horses in poor condition, and four were taken to Shadarobah Horse Rescue in Allen County.

According to the probable cause, a veterinarian examination of several horses showed issues like malnutrition, parasitism, ulcerations, pneumonia and skin problems.

Indiana State Police Master Trooper Kurt Jack conducted interviews with neighbors and former employees of Barron.

"Most agree that the horses were very skinny, did not receive the proper amount of hay or water and lacked shelter," read the probable cause. "Most of the people that worked for Barron quit because of not getting paid or did not agree with the amount of food available for the horses."

Animal cruelty is a Class A misdemeanor.

"The case was a little blown out of proportion in my opinion," Dunnuck said. "But she's not an innocent victim, because she trusted her son to look after the horses."

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