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Old 07-07-2010, 08:50 AM   #1
Angry Judge orders 40 horses returned to Aurora farm owner

40 horses in cruelty case being returned
By Patrick Lakamp
News Staff Reporter
Updated: July 06, 2010, 10:03 pm
Published: July 06, 2010, 10:05 pm

The SPCA Serving Erie County was ordered Tuesday to return 40 of the 73 Morgan horses that it seized in March from an Aurora horse farm.

State Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Glownia allowed Beth Lynne Hoskins, the farm owner facing 10 counts of animal cruelty, to select which horses she gets back.

The horses could be returned as soon as this week, said Barry N. Covert, one of her lawyers.

Covert and fellow lawyer George V.C. Muscato had asked Glownia to order the return of all the horses.

"Ms. Hoskins would like to have the remaining 33 horses back at the earliest possible date," Covert said. "We're gratified the court has ordered the return of 40 horses at this time."

The SPCA, however, viewed the court order warily.

"It is with grave concern for the horses that the SPCA is complying with this court order," Larry Robb, president of the SPCA's board of directors, said in a statement. "Our concern is not only for the 40 horses ordered returned, but for any other horses which may have been acquired by Ms. Hoskins since the March rescue and may now be residing on one of her properties."

Glownia ordered Hoskins to hire additional help in caring for the animals and to provide the horses with adequate care, the SPCA said.

Glownia gave the SPCA permission to inspect the horses on Hoskins' Emery Road farm.

All the SPCA has to do is give a half-hour's notice, Covert said. "We'll let them in any time they want," he said. "She is an award-winning Morgan breeder. She has nothing to hide."

The horse barns have been cleaned up since March 30, according to the lawyer. "The barns are in terrific condition," Covert said.

The SPCA has said that it has spent more than $200,000 caring for the horses since March and that it wants Hoskins to pay for their care. "We sought to have the horses returned under SPCA supervision to minimize the costs to the SPCA," the SPCA said. "If they had returned the horses, their expenses would have been zero."

On March 18, SPCA investigators conducted the biggest local roundup of large animals in decades, as they removed 73 horses along with more than 50 cats and dogs from the farm.

Four dogs and two cats in good health were returned to Hoskins after living conditions in her home improved, the SPCA said.

SPCA officials said they will file 114 additional charges against Hoskins later this month.

Originally, 10 charges were filed covering the animals. The 10 misdemeanor counts under the state Agriculture & Markets Law stem from evidence gathered on seven of the horses and three cats.

However, the Erie County District Attorney's Office has notified the SPCA that it would like to move ahead with one animal-cruelty charge for each animal seized from Hoskins' properties, with the exception of the six animals already returned.

No date has been set yet in the criminal proceedings before Aurora Town Justice Douglas W. Marky.

Civil proceedings before Glownia resume Monday.

Among the issues expected to be considered are whether the remaining horses are returned or whether Hoskins will have to secure a bond to cover the SPCA's cost of caring for Hoskins' horses.

Old 07-08-2010, 10:39 AM   #2
40 horses returned to owner

Updated: Tuesday, 06 Jul 2010, 10:30 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 06 Jul 2010, 10:25 PM EDT

* Mylous Hairston
* Posted by: Kellie Mazur

AURORA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The SPCA is returning dozens of horses the agency seized from a town of Aurora farm, because of improper conditions.

Beth Hoskins is getting 40 of her horses back. News 4 spoke with her at her farm late Tuesday afternoon.

Hoskins said, "Not having the animals here, particularly the horses, has been an interruption of my life."

That interruption Hoskins is talking about started on March 18th. That's when the SPCA seized 73 horses along with more than 50 cats and dogs from her 50 acre farm in the Town of Aurora. The SPCA claims the animals were not properly cared for.

Just last week the SPCA released pictures of the horses and conditions it claims were not suitable.

"The horses were in transition. It was springtime. We were right at thaw. There's often extremely unsightly conditions from matted hair that is shedding," stated Hoskins.

Barbara Carr of the SPCA added "I'm concerned about the animals. I'm concerned about her ability to take care of the animals. I understand she's hired three part-time help to take care of 40 horses. It takes us ten people to take care of 40 horses."

Hoskins adds about 1/3 of her 73 horses were 20 years of age or older.

Hoskins said, "Depending on each individual condition. Whether they have all their teeth. They can deteriorate rather rapidly."

Beth Hoskins tells News 4 she's hiring additional help and hopes to have the horses back on her farm Thursday morning.

And she may learn Monday if she will get the rest of the morgan horses back.

Meanwhile, the SPCA plans to file 114 additional animal cruelty charges against Hoskins in the criminal matter.

Old 07-12-2010, 08:22 AM   #3
Horse owner to be greeted by protestors
SPCA says they have spent $200,000 on horses

Updated: Monday, 12 Jul 2010, 6:53 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 12 Jul 2010, 6:53 AM EDT

* Michele McClintick
* Posted by: Emily Lenihan

AURORA, N.Y. (WIVB) - News 4 first told you about this story back in March, and Beth Hoskins will return to court first thing Monday morning. When she does, she'll be greeted with protesters who want to make sure she doesn't get her horses back

Civil proceedings against Beth Hoskins continue Monday in State Supreme Court.

Last week a judge ordered the SPCA to return 40 of the 73 horses seized from her farm in the Town of Aurora.

The SPCA says it has already spent more than $200,000 caring for the animals.

Monday, we could find out how much Hoskins will have to start paying back.

"I'm concerned about the animals. I'm concerned about her ability to take care of the animals. I understand she's hired three part-time help to take care of 40 horses. It takes us ten people to take care of 40 horses," said SPCA of Erie County Executive Director Barbara Carr.

Hoskins says she's cared for the horses for more than 30 years and the conditions were normal.

Hoskins said, "The horses were in transition. It was springtime. We were right at thaw. There's often extremely unsightly conditions from matted hair that is shedding."

Old 07-12-2010, 10:30 AM   #4
SPCA must have the most incompetant help ever if it takes 10 people to care for 40 horses. I don't trust what any of those places say anymore. Seen too many cases of the authorities seizing animals that are fine, or that are elderly, then they want to charge for all the time they had the animals.
Old 07-12-2010, 07:14 PM   #5
Battle of seized animals heads to court
Protestors greet horse owner at court

Updated: Monday, 12 Jul 2010, 12:45 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 12 Jul 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

* Michele McClintick
* Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The SPCA claims that it has spend over $200,000 taking care of horses and now would like that money back from Beth Hoskins, who could end up spending years behind bars for animal cruelty.

Protesters gathered outside state supreme court Monday morning with signs in support of the SPCA's actions.

The attorney for Beth Hoskins was handed 114 additional charges, which were filed in Aurora Town court Monday morning.

Beth Hoskins is charged with animal abuse.

130 animals were seized from her property back in March, in what the SPCA calls its biggest raid in decades.

News 4 spoke with the animal control officer who responded to that call and she said she was expecting to see poor conditions, but she was shocked by what she saw.

Horses caked with manure, hooves not properly cared for. 73 horses were taken, but last week, Judge Joseph Glownia ordered that 40 of those horses be returned to Hoskins.

As of Monday afternoon, she has only picked up 17 of them.

"I believe she has an issue of hoarding. There's no sales on record, so it gets to a point where you just can't take care of any more animals, especially with no staff, no help. These animals were just living in deplorable conditions, three feet of manure in a stall," said Animal Control Officer Lindsey Styborski.

Old 07-12-2010, 07:16 PM   #6
Woman to face 124 animal-cruelty counts
Civil suit adjourned until July 29th

Updated: Monday, 12 Jul 2010, 12:28 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 12 Jul 2010, 12:28 PM EDT

* Rich Newberg
* Posted by: Emily Lenihan

AURORA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The civil suit by the Erie County SPCA against Beth Hoskins has been adjourned by State Supreme Court Judge Glownia until July 29th.

Hoskins had 73 horses, 53 cats and four dogs rescued by the SPCA and was initially charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty, seven counts for the dogs and three for the cats.

Hoskins will be charged with another 114 counts on Wednesday, in East Aurora Court.

The SPCA claims the animals had been kept in unhealthy conditions on Hoskins' property in East Aurora.

The civil suit will ask that the SPCA be reimbursed roughly $200,000. That’s the amount the SPCA has spent to care for the animals since they were confiscated in March. Two cats and four dogs had previously been returned and as of Monday morning, 17 horses have been returned as well. More horses will begin to be returned to her property. The SPCA says that conditions have improved for the returned animals.

Hoskins will face 124 counts of animal cruelty. Each misdemeanor count has a maximum punishment of a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Judge Glownia is waiting for the additional 114 charges to be placed before considering the civil suit.

Old 07-12-2010, 07:17 PM   #7
SPCA wants $200,000 from horse owner

Updated: Monday, 12 Jul 2010, 5:35 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 12 Jul 2010, 5:27 PM EDT

* Rich Newberg

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) - The SPCA says Beth Hoskins should fork over $200,000, the cost of taking care of the horses, dogs and cats confiscated from her property in March.

But that civil case will have to wait until further criminal charges are placed against the horse owner.

Beth Hoskins faces 114 additional counts of animal cruelty added to the 10 already filed, a decision by District Attorney's Office.

Lindsey Styborski, SPCA Officer, explained, "Mr. Sedita decided that it was chargeable. We have more than enough evidence against her, that she needs to be brought up in court on all 124 counts."

George Muscato, Hoskins' Attorney, said, "I think their case was a gross over-reaction. Ultimately I think we're going to prevail."

The 124 counts involved 73 horses and 51 cats, the majority of animals confiscated from Beth Hoskins farm back in March. The SPCA believes she has been hoarding the animals.

"There's no sales on record of her selling animals. She just wants to get more and more and more, and it gets to a point where you just can't take care of anymore," said Styborski.

Another of Hoskins' Attorneys Barry Covert said, " She's a very, very successful breeder, and as you become successful in any endeavor, you collect more and more of those items, just like a car collector, motorcycle collector."

Demonstrators backing the SPCA say Hoskins should pay the SPCA $200,000 for the care of her confiscated animals.

Alan Donatelli, an Attorney for the Erie County SPCA said, "SPCA'S position is she clearly owes us all the money we've spent to date for caring for her animals, and the SPCA's position is that the money we have spent has improved her animals."

The SPCA also objects to a judge's ruling that 40 of the horses be returned her. Some already have.

"I think we need not to make rash decisions about releasing these animals back to the owner. I think we need to wait until the justice system works," said Mary Ellen Hager, a demonstrator.

The SPCA, which is inspecting conditions for the returned horses, says there has been a marked improvement.

Gina Browning, SPCA Public Relations Director, said, "The conditions have been cleaned up, which in some way is - I don't want to use the word victory - but it's better for the horses."

Old 07-13-2010, 10:33 PM   #8
Horse Owner Faces 114 More Animal Cruelty Charges
by Ginger Geoffery

July 12, 2010

Animal lovers picketed outside State Supreme Court in downtown Buffalo on Monday morning over a judge's decision allowing an accused animal abuser to reclaim dozens of her horses even though the criminal case against her has not been resolved.

Also on Monday, 114 additional counts of animal cruelty were filed against the horse owner, Beth Hoskins. The new charges are in addition to ten animal cruelty counts Hoskins is already facing and all of the charges are in connection with a raid in March of Hoskins' East Aurora farm. S.P.C.A. officers involved in that raid say they found animals living in deplorable conditions including waist-deep manure in some of the horse stalls.

Hoskins is currently in the process of taking back 40 of the 73 horses seized during the raid. A civil court judge ruled last week she could have 40 horses back even though the criminal case against her is still on-going.

Attorneys for both sides were back in civil court Monday morning to argue whether Hoskins should be required to re-pay the S.P.C.A. for the costs it's incurred in caring for her animals. The S.P.C.A. says they've spent more than $200,000 taking care of the horses since March. Justice Joseph Glownia announced on Monday though that he will delay his decision on the reimbursement matter until later this month after he's reviewed arguments from both sides.

Hoskins was not at court for Monday's proceeding but she is expected to appear in Aurora Town Court Wednesday evening when she's scheduled to be arraigned on the 114 new charges. Those charges also allege the mistreatment of 48 cats. "The cats were locked in a 12 by 15 approximately sized shed, covered in feces, not an ounce of food or water available anywhere in the shed," says Lindsey Styborski, an officer for the S.P.C.A., "They were climbing on top of each other, just covered in urine. There was even a litter of kittens born in that filth."

Attorneys for Hoskins dispute the allegations and claim all the animals were receiving care. "I think the case was a gross over-reaction," says George Muscato, attorney for Hoskins, "Ultimately I think we are going to prevail and I think it's very unfortunate these beautiful animals had to go through these tragic events."

Old 07-13-2010, 10:40 PM   #9
Aurora horse farm owner faces more charges
114 counts added as case builds
By Karen Robinson
News Staff Reporter
Updated: July 12, 2010, 10:22 PM /

Aurora horse farm owner Beth Lynne Hoskins faces more than 100 additional misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, even as she is in the process of retrieving up to 40 of her horses that were ordered returned to her custody last week.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office announced Monday it has filed 114 animal cruelty charges against Hoskins, adding to the 10 counts already in place. In all, she has been charged with 124 counts, one for each of the animals seized.

"We felt that filing 10 counts originally from a legal standpoint was a better way to go," Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said. "It just made it easier for all the parties. The plan was to come to an amicable resolution for the case."

That hasn't happened.

"It's becoming increasingly clear there won't be an amicable resolution to the case, and that this case is going to trial," Sedita said.

The latest counts are part of a continuing battle of wills pitting Hoskins against the SPCA Serving Erie County, which began investigating activities at the 50-acre farm after the agency was contacted by Christopher Kane, who worked at the farm for a short time and became concerned about conditions there.

News of the additional criminal charges came Monday morning as protesters gathered outside the court of State Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Glownia, who has been asked to decide who should pay the $200,000-and-rising cost to care for the animals the SPCA seized from the Hoskins farm in March.

As part of that case, Glownia last week ordered that the SPCA allow Hoskins to select 40 of her Morgan horses to be returned to her farm. By Monday evening, Hoskins had gathered eight more of her horses, bringing the returned total so far to 25.

"We are thrilled. We want every one back," Hoskins said, though she claimed, "none of the 25 horses are in good order. There's obvious signs of some sort of physical or mental abuse, from one particular farm." She declined to elaborate, but said that a white mare was covered in urine and feces and that she videotaped its appearance.

Hoskins will be arraigned Wednesday before Aurora Town Justice Douglas W. Marky on the 114 additional counts in the criminal case.

SPCA officials arrived on Hoskins' horse farm March 18, and seized 73 horses, 53 cats and four dogs because of the animals' living conditions. The SPCA recently released photos of the horses caked in manure and stalls full of manure, alleging neglectful care that led them to remove all the animals.

The SPCA remains upset that Hoskins is getting any of her horses back. "[The] SPCA believes that returning the animals to her now is returning the animals to the abuser," said Alan Donatelli, the agency's attorney. "We do believe this is an animal hoarding situation based on the condition of her property and horses."

The original charges against Hoskins were animal cruelty misdemeanor counts. The additional charges cover all of the horses and 51 of the cats. The only animals not covered by the charges are four dogs and two cats in good health.

The civil case before Glownia was adjourned until July 29. Part of what has not been determined is the $200,000 bond sought for Hoskins to reimburse the SPCA's cost for caring for the horses and any future care for the 33 remaining under their watch.

Attorney George V.C. Muscato, who is representing Hoskins, said Kane was on the farm for one week and "then disappears."

"Frankly," Muscato said, "his affidavit helps us, more than him."

Muscato argued that the bond request lacked merit and should be dismissed. He also asked for the return of the other 33 horses to Hoskins.

About 30 protesters marched outside old County Hall before the civil court appearance. Some protesters carried signs with photos of disheveled horses.

Messages of frustration were scrawled on their posters. "You Be The Judge" read one sign. Another showed "Before" and "After" of the horses' hooves.

"The justice system is screwed up," said protestor Ray Guagliardi. "You wouldn't do this to a human being. Why would you do it to an animal?"

"I just don't understand how a judge can make a decision without seeing all the evidence," said Mary Ellen Hager, who organized the protest and also is on the SPCA's board of directors.

Protestor Sharon Harezga(cq) of Cattaraugus County, who owns two horses and helped care for some of Hoskins' horses at an Orchard Park foster location, remains concerned. "To hear 73 horses, just blew my mind," she said. "You have to hire a lot of people to care for them."

Harezga said it took caregivers weeks to "get a 5-year-old Stallion out of its stall." "Some of them have never been out of a stall and had no exercise," she said.

Hoskins was not in court Monday, and said she stayed away on purpose — because of threats she received and a gunshot she heard on her property at 3:20 a.m. Saturday.

"I used my time wisely to round up more horses," she said. "I was also given messages from people saying that people would try to take my horses. I've hired extra security people at my farm."

About 30 observers — most of them critics of Hoskins and horse owners — packed Glownia's courtroom. Much of the debate occurred behind closed doors with lawyers meeting in the judge's chambers for about 90 minutes.

Hoskins declined to say how many people she has hired at her farm.

"We've been fully compliant. Justice Glownia is fully apprised of the help," she said, adding. "People are getting harassed to come here and help me."

Old 03-25-2011, 04:11 PM   #10

Farm owner wins partial victory against SPCA

Updated: Friday, 25 Mar 2011, 12:28 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 25 Mar 2011, 12:28 AM EDT

* Aaron Mason
* Posted by: Eli George

AURORA, N.Y. (WIVB) - A horse farm owner accused of abusing more than a hundred animals in her care won a partial victory Thursday night.

A town of Aurora judge has dismissed 51 of the 124 counts of animal cruelty facing Beth Hoskins. The charges dropped Thursday night concerned the care of her cats. The SPCA seized the cats and 33 horses from her farm last year.

Hoskin's attorney, Tom Eoannou, said, "We'll defend this case to the fullest. We've been ever since day one. And we're looking forward to an affinity hearing and challenging the truthfulness of the SPCA agents' statements."

In November, a judge ordered Hoskins to pay the SPCA more than $13,000 to help cover a months worth of care for her horses.


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