A former New York City police officer has been charged with animal cruelty after authorities found a severely malnourished horse and the remains of 11 others on her upstate farm.
Forty-eight-year-old Jeanne Ryan, owner of Argus Farm, was charged last Friday with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor, and failure to properly dispose of dead animals, advocates confirm.
The charges followed a July 29 raid conducted by the Hudson Valley SPCA at Argus Farm in the Orange County town of Goshen, 55 miles northwest of New York City.
Officials say the skeleton of a dead mare was found in a stall alongside the carcass of the mare's 2-month-old foal. In the next stall, animal advocates say an emaciated stallion stood over the remains of the mare. The stallion's stall was locked and it had no grain, hay or water, officials said; the horse had been trying to eat a wood window to survive, animal advocates said.
The remains of other dead horses were found in the barn and in nearby woods.
Investigators believe all the dead horses died of starvation, but proving that via necropsies would be difficult given the degree of deteriorated of internal organs, according to The Times Herald-Record of Middletown.
Ryan could face up to a year in jail on the animal cruelty charge. Details on her employment history with the NYPD weren't immediately clear.
The voicemail at the farm is full and isn't accepting messages. According to animal advocates, she has denied the allegations.