I hate bringing these stories to you. But, sometimes outrage moves mountains. Not all the time, but some times.
Here is the story as I read it. Most of this is direct quotes from others. At then end, I have written what you can do to support this mare’s plight, if that is comfortable for you (no money needed).
“Keith just told me there was a horse beating that went on in Edgar county IL. Some people went by and this guy was beating a horse at his residence, so bad that he knocked one eye out , the people also seen this horse was trying to get up, and he kept on beating it. The authorities came out and had to euthanized the horse. We are trying to get more details, so we can tell you guys more.
The mare had been beaten and had blunt force trauma around the head. Her left eye was bulging from the socket. Her tongue was macerated and bleeding. The lower lip was separated from the gum line leaving a long separation between the gum li…ne and lip. It appeared her jaw had been dislocated. She had been strugglin…g to get up for over 24 hours. She was left to die.”
ATTENDING VET REPORT
“THE VETERINARIAN IS MY HUSBAND … HERE IS HIS REPORT TO THE SHERIFF AND STATES ATTORNEY.
To whom it may concern:
I was called by The Warner Foundation for Animals today October 8, 2010 to investigate a case of animal abuse and neglect near Oliver, Illinois. The sheriffs department had been contacted concerning a man seen beating a down horse on the evening of October 7, 2010. The horse was reportedly recumbant and unresponsive. The horse was initially thought to be deceased. Upon arrival at the scene by the Edgar Couny Sheriff’s Department the horse was discovered to be alive but unable to stand.
My exam revealed wounds consistent wih severe trauma to the head. The left eye appeared to be proptosed e.g. bulging from the socket. The tongue was macerated and bleeding. The lower lip was avulsed from the gum line leaving a 6 inch separation between the gum line and lip. The mare was graded a 3 out of 10 body score. (borderline starvation/emaciation). Because of the severity of the lesions, the length of time the mare had been recumbent and her overall body condition I determined that the mare should be euthanized. After euthanasia the mare was rolled over to examine her down side. She had wounds on her left shoulder and hip consistent with her struggling to rise. These wounds consisted of frictions burns through the hide to the underlying tissues and hair loss from abrasions.
The mare had been left in this condition by the owner who told the attending officer Det. Hopper that he figured the mare would be dead when he got home from work. Failure to seek veterinary medical attention for an injured, sick or debilitated animal is consider neglect. Witnesses and the owner both testified to the fact the animal was being beaten the evening before. This constitutes abuse.
To compound the situation, I evaluated the surroundings and remaining horses. For all intents and purposes the horses are living in a garbage dump. Broken glass, metal, cans, waste, automobiles and other various items were found in all of the horse pens. Of the remaining horses, all but three had so many cockleburrs in their manes and tails that they appeared to be solid mats. These will eventually lead to ulcerations of the skin under lying the burrs.
My professional opinion is that the deceased mare had wounds consistent with witnesses accounts of beating and blunt force injuries. Constituting abuse. The mare also had wounds consistent with being recumbent for an extended period of time. Constituting neglect. Both abuse and neglect should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. My opinion is that the remaining horses are being neglected and need immediate attention.
Today only misdemeanor charges were filed, even after an admission of guilt of the beating by the owner, 2 eyewitness accounts and expert testimony by Dr. M.E. Staub attesting to the fact the injuries were sustained were from blunt force.”
WHO IS THIS INHUMANE PERSON?
“Here is the info…the guy name is Denny Hollingsworth…he lives in Oliver,Illinois..his property is located on route 1 just north of Oliver, IL on the east side of hwy…people are to contact the state attorney of Edgar county, to insisit that he is charged with maximum penatly… the number to call is 217-466-7456 …this happened on Oct 7th.”
Here is his record:
AN INFORMED PERSON STATED THE ILLINOIS STATUTE
“IL has very tough animal protection laws under the IL Humane Care for Animals Act (510 ILCS 70/3.02)
The beating of this horse is considered “aggrevated cruelty” under the IL HCAA and is a Class 4 Felony. We need to push for the maximum penalty on this. Please respectfully remind the state’s attorney that the IL HCAA requires that he prosecuted according to statute. Here is the link to the IL statute.”
Link to Statute here.
PEOPLE STARTED CALLING GOVERNMENT OFFICES and getting responses:
“If they charge him with Aggravated Cruelty, the first offense is classified as a class A misdemeanor. The second offense in this section would be a class 4 felony.
HOWEVER, if they charge him with Animal Torture, section 3.03, it is a class 3 felony, no mention of misdemeanor.
SO, they should charge him with aggravated cruelty and animal torture to cover all the bases.”
“I started to make calls early this a.m. The first call was to the Edgar county sheriff. They told me that Dennis Hollingsworth (in the future to be called by me POS, for sake of brevity) has not been arrested. Charges will be handled by the state attorney’s office. I thanked them and then called the state atty’s office.
They filed charges against POS yesterday. He was charged with 2 misdemeanors. I asked why he could not be charged with animal torture so that they could get a felony conviction on him. They said that the charges were filed the way they were because they have to be able to prove what happened. I asked why they couldn’t prove animal torture by the condition of the body. They said that they were working with the information and advice given them by veterinarians. They said that you can charge anything but if you can’t prove it; it does no good.
Also, POS probably won’t be arrested, just sent a notice. The hearing will be October 21st. The young woman I spoke to said that I could go to www.judici.com and click on Edgar county to see what the charges are. She said she filed them for the state atty yesterday afternoon.
I went to judici.com and clicked on Edgar county and then entered Hollingsworth,Dennis at the top of the screen. POS has a history in Edgar county. However the new charges have not yet been updated to that site so you can check later.
I am very disappointed that POS not only will not be arrested but that he will probably not get the punishment he deserves. I can only say that letters to anyone in Edgar county, Chamber of Commerce, sheriff, state attorney, any business leaders, etc. may help to paint POS with the brush of shame if nothing else.
The fact that he will most likely be convicted with misdemeanors does make it possible to charge him with a felony if he does something like this again. The second time should be a felony charge. I do not like to think that it will happen again, but in my heart I know he is pond scum and will do something again.
This is all I know for now. If anyone has any more ideas of ways to make POS life miserable and to ensure that he does not ever do this again, please share.”
IN THE MEANTIME, A CANDLE VIGIL WAS SET UP FOR THE POOR MARE
“I started a candle group for Illinois Girl. It’s under the initials “IG”.”
The link to the candle group is here.
THE NEWS REPORTS WERE VERY SOFT AND … (I’ve attached two news reports)
Published: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 5:17 PM CDT
The Edgar County State Attorney’s office is charging a Marshall man with one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals and two misdemeanor counts of animal owner duties violation after a passerby reported seeing him strike a horse last week.
Detective Roger Hopper of the Edgar County Drug Task Force said that the man charged is Dennis Hollingsworth, 47, of 1444 IL Hwy. 1, Marshall.
On Friday, Oct. 8, Hopper said that the Edgar County Sheriff’s Department received a call from someone driving by Hollingsworth’s home, who reported seeing him striking the horse. Hopper said that the caller reported that the horse was down on the ground.
Hopper said the Edgar County Humane Society called veterinarian Dr. Michael Staub out to the Hollingsworth residence with the police. After seeing the 25-year-old horse, Hopper said that Staub “felt the horse needed to be euthanized.” Several other horses on the property were described as “healthy-looking.” The horse has since been buried.
The Edgar County State Attorney’s office filed charges against Hollingsworth on Tuesday, Oct. 12. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 21.
Man charged with cruelty to horse
Updated: Wednesday, 13 Oct 2010, 9:29 PM EDT?Published : Wednesday, 13 Oct 2010, 9:29 PM EDT
• Louisa Moller
EDGAR COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) – Cruel treatment of an animal stirs up emotions in one Wabash Valley community.
Witnesses said they saw Dennis Hollingsworth, an Edgar County man, beat his horse.
They called the Edgar County Sheriff’s Department who went to Hollingsworth’s place with veterinarian, Dr. Michael Staub.
Dr. Staub found a severely injured, 23-year-old mare.
“The horse was totally recumbent, could not rise whatsoever. It was laying on its left side. It looked like its left eye was bulging out of the socket.. its lip was torn away from the gum line on that side,” Staub said.
Staub decided it was best to euthanize the horse. ??The Edgar County State’s attorney said, at this point, the evidence does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hollingsworth meant to inflict serious harm or death upon his horse. ??Hollingsworth is being charged with cruelty to an animal and violation of owner’s duties, both misdemeanors
CHARGES (Since the vet actually “killed” the horse, the perp didn’t…)_
“The Edgar County State’s attorney said, at this point, the evidence does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hollingsworth meant to inflict serious harm or death upon his horse. ??Hollingsworth is being charged with cruelty to an animal and violation of owner’s duties, both misdemeanors”
“THE COURT DATE IS THE 21ST AT 9;30 IN THE EDGAR COUNTY COURTHOUSE IN ONE OF THE BASEMENT COURTROOMS. I ENCOURAGE ALL WHO CAN TO COME AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO MAKE A SHOW OF FORCE AND LET THE LEGAL SYSTEM KNOW TIS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.”
THE VET’S WIFE HAS A FB PAGE AND IS OUTRAGED… SHE WAS THERE.
The vet’s wife was there to see the poor mare in her sad state, 24 hours after the beating. She heard from witnesses. She is outraged and an advocate for this mare. Here is her FB page link. She has a photo there so be warned. It is well done and the angle is not horrible, but it is there.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
“IN THE MEANTIME, PLEASE CONTINUE TO CROSSPOST THIS AND BUMP UP THIS TOPIC TO KEEP IT ALIVE FOR THIS HORSE. SHE REPRESENTS ALL THE HORSES AND ANIMALS IN THE WORLD NOT RECEIVING APPROPRIATE AND HUMAN TREATMENT…
PLEASE BE POLITE AND PLEASANT WHEN YOU CALL OR E-MAIL. DO NOT RANT OR BE RADICAL AS IT ONLY RE-ENFORCES THE “ANIMAL WACKO” THEORY.
WE NEED TO FIND JUSTICE FOR IG SO HER DEATH WILL NOT BE IN VAIN…
MARK ISAF…EDGAR COUNTY STATES ATTORNEY, HE IS THE ATTORNEY ON THE CASE…217-466-7456 firstname.lastname@example.org
LISA MADIGAN…ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL…217-782-1090
DICK DURBIN…ILLINOIS STATES SENATOR…217-492-4062″
“Please, everyone, keep calling Mark Isaf’s office… I told them that they are going to get their ’15 minutes of fame’ in their little farming community because people around the country are getting interested. (I was polite!) If you saw the news broadcast on the www.wthitv.com/dpp/news/local/man-charged-with-cruelty-to-horse, read the comments towards the bottom. Viewers are disgusted. Hopefully the ranks will grow.”
THIS JUST IN FROM A READER WHO CALLED MARK ISAF’S OFFICE TODAY (217-466-7456):
If folks could call Mark Isaf’s ofc. before the court date and leave their opinions, maybe it would help. You’re right, her death should not go without notice.
AND I WISH TO ADD
Do whatever feels right for you. I’m just passing this on because it was so wrong and this guy will get away with it unless enough people know about him. Then, people will watch him and keep tabs on his behavior with his wife, kids and other horses and animals. Fight the good fight.
Just this morning I read this news report – It doesn’t just happen with animals…
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
The October Bucket Fund will benefit Honey Bandit, the most neglected BLM mustang baby who is struggling to survive. To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate to this incredible foal, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)