East Bethel rancher charged with 35 counts of animal mistreatment

11:15 PM, Jan 12, 2012   |    comments
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EAST BETHEL, Minn. - An East Bethel man is charged with 35 criminal counts involving mistreatment of horses on his ranch.

The charges involve animals that humane investigators found on the property of Lowell Friday last August. A concerned citizen alerted authorities on August 26 about horses who appeared emaciated and in overall poor condition.

Humane investigators and two veterinarians investigated the 60 or so horses on the property and noted the condition of the facility. They found unsanitary conditions with an overabundance of manure, old and broken fencing, the presence of sharp and dangerous objects, and a poor and polluted water supply.

Many of the horses were found to be dangerously thin and malnourished, ridden with lice and parasites and a number were found to have cracked and chipped hooves.

Two horses were immediately confiscated and rushed to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital for treatment. Animal welfare advocates returned on August 31 to take eight more horses and on November 16 to rescue seven others.

Friday has a previous conviction on his record from August of 2009 after he pled guilty to one count of overworking or mistreating Animals.

If found guilty Friday faces a potential of one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine on each of the 35 criminal counts. Seventeen of those counts involve torture, seventeen are for depravation of food and shelter, and the last is for cruelty.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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