Goshen woman arrested, charged with deaths of horses

Hudson Valley SPCA: Horse carcasses found in a state of severe decomposition

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  • Argus Farm. Other photos following are extremely graphic and should not be viewed by sensitive persons (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • The farrier's report

  • Photo provided by Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement

  • Photo provided by Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement

  • Photo provided by Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement

  • Photo provided by Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement

  • Photo provided by Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement

  • Photo provided by Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement

  • Photo provided by Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement

By Frances Ruth Harris

— Jeanne Ryan, 48, of 132 Gate Schoolhouse Road in Goshen was arrested and charged with Cruelty to Animals and Failure to properly dispose of dead animals after four horses were found dead in her barn at Argus Farm.

Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement made the announcement on Friday:

"Following an extensive investigation, and armed with a Search Warrant, Investigators from the Law Enforcement Division of the Hudson Valley SPCA, in cooperation with the Goshen Town Police and Catskill Veterinary Services, seized a badly neglected and emaciated Stallion left in a stall without food or water, left only to chew on the wood of the stall. (Cribbing) This horse was left standing in feces with split infected overgrown hooves.

"Authorities also discovered the carcasses of four deceased adult horses in contiguous stalls together with a dead foal in a nursing position. The horses presumably starved to death. The deceased horse carcasses were found to be in a state of severe decomposition.

"Anyone with additional information is urged to contact the HSPCA Law Enforcement Division at 855-448-2548."

Multiple calls were made to Ryan and her lawyer for comment but were unsuccessful.

A farrier from Pennsylvania, Katie Scally, wrote that on Aug. 2, she trimmed the hooves of a pony at the farm that were so overgrown, the animal needed sedation (see her letter, provided with this article).

Gene Hecht, Chief of Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement, sent The Chronicle photos taken at the scene. They are provided with this article, but readers are warned that they are extremely graphic and disturbing.

A grim discoveryThe four horses were found dead on Aug. 5. The story has since blown up on social media.

Kay Myruski of Brookfields Farm on Pulaski Highway in Goshen has worked for years to save horses from abuse. She told The Chronicle that she's never seen a community so outraged. She said she's absolutely disgusted.

"I never expected it from her," Myruski said of the farm's owner. "She is an intelligent woman."

"I can't believe someone can go from one end of the spectrum to the other," she continued. "What vet went to the farm? How come no one knows her? How come no one knew about the horses?"

She said not all of the horses received the same poor treatment.

"Why weren't all the horses starving?" she asked.

The owner's ex-boyfriend, Angel Garcia, told the Chronicle that he will do a deposition on what he knows. He said he had lived for years on the farm, where he was "pretty much the slave."

Garcia said the horses didn’t get fed on time. When he was away, he would ask his parents to check on the horses, and they would drive all the way in from Belleville, N.Y., to care for them.

“I want as far away from her as I can get now,” he said of the owner.

Myruski said that, to her, it's like child abuse.

"If we allow this to happen on a farm were hundreds pass by, then we have failed those animals," she said. "They should have been noticed and not cut from our radar. To me, it's like child abuse."

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