Woman accused of animal abuse seeks plea | Local News

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Bennington – An Arlington woman who was arrested for animal cruelty in a starving ponies case got a delay so prosecutors could review the plea bargain made by the defense.

Judge Cortland Corsons gave a 30-day reprieve to Patricia Mackie, 58, on Monday at a pre-trial hearing in Bennington Supreme Court. Mackie faces a number of crimes of aggravated animal cruelty and torture.

Vermont State Police responded in July 2019, after Dorset Equine Rescue’s Jane Straub reported that the 16-year-old painter’s mare might have been neglected. Dorset Equine Rescue says it has received multiple calls about “Roki,” the horse that grazed at 3894 Route 313 in Arlington. According to a police affidavit, Vermont State Trooper Travis Hess arrived to find the horse behind the house amidst “a mess, litter, and junk that looks very skinny.”

The horse was in a small fenced area of ​​about 20 square yards, homeless. According to Hess, there was a bucket of water in the can where there was no visible hay and little grass to graze, only weeds.

“The horse looked very skinny,” Hess said. “I was able to see his ribs and thigh bones.”

Mackey told police at the scene that the horse was sick with Lyme disease and would not eat. Police asked Mackey if they would hand the horse over to Dorset Equine Rescue, which they did later that evening. Jane Straub later stated that the horse was in worse condition than she expected, and that she believed it would die within days, if not hours, if not rescued.

In October 2019, police received a case report of the animal from Shannon Gay, an equine veterinarian, confirming that the horse had been “wasted and suffering from complications related to severe nutritional deficiencies and a lack of proper management”.

Police charged Mackie a month later. She was released on Monday with conditions, including not caring for any animals. A trial date has not yet been set. A new hearing is scheduled for January.

The horse now lives at the Dorset Equine Rescue facility and has a new name. “Happy” is currently an average weight 18-year-old in good health, according to Rescue.


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