Two West Virginia men pleaded guilty yesterday to practicing veterinary medicine without a license for castrating an unruly steed during a horse show last year.
"It's just something that we did," Ronnie Bowens, one of the defendants, said after his appearance before a Pike County judge. "We really didn't expect any trouble from it."
Lisa Moore, a fellow horse-show trainer, filed an animal-cruelty complaint in June against Bowens, of Delbarton, W.Va., the owner of the horse, and Herbert Messer, of Charleston, W.Va., who performed the procedure.
Moore said in her complaint that Bowens arranged for Messer to castrate the horse in a trailer because it was misbehaving. Messer is not a veterinarian.
"People say horses can't scream, but it was screaming," Moore said. "Every other horse there was hollering back. It was absolutely terrible."
Bowens and Messer avoided 30-day jail sentences. Pike District Judge Darrel Mullins ordered those sentences probated, but he fined each man $300.
Bowens said shortly after the charges were filed that people routinely castrate horses that won't be used in a breeding program. He said the procedure makes high-strung horses gentler.
The horse in question, a Paso Fino, fully recovered from the procedure, Bowens said at the time.
Pike County Attorney Howard Keith Hall initially filed to dismiss the charges, but decided to withdraw the motion after receiving letters of protest from across Kentucky and from other states, including New York and Texas.
Moore said pressing charges as a private citizen wasn't easy.
"This ought to be an example for people to step forward and help the animals," she said. "They are innocent and have to take whatever is put on them. If people will take a stand, they will find that there are a whole lot of people who will back them up."
Dr. Brett Woodie, a veterinarian at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, said horses should be castrated only by veterinarians and only after the animal has been sedated and given an anesthetic.
"Obviously, the veterinarian is going to have access to appropriate drugs and medications that a layperson will not be able to use," he said.
Woodie said he believes few horse owners would consider performing the procedure themselves.
Source: Courier Journal - Jan 6, 2005
WTF?! A FUCKING THREE HUNDRED DOLLAR FINE? Boy you gotta love the fucking justice system
Those fuckers should have spent time in prison and been banned from ever owning horses again. That shit is just ridiculous.