To the editor, 

Kanabec County Times, June 11, 2020. The headline on page 2 read “Dead horse leads to animal mistreatment charges.” That immediately caught my attention as for the past six months or so I have continually received emails soliciting funds from animal welfare groups. Many of these solicitations requested funds for animals needing feed and other things. A little thought will recall hurricanes, floods, drought and many other problems which make it difficult to properly care for animals that depend upon a person to take care of them. I have read many letters and articles about these problems. Of course when you give to one of these groups apparently the word gets around, and soon you get entreaties from lots of organizations. That is what motivated me to write this letter.

This is Minnesota. I can not understand how anyone could just let an animal starve to death. I know nothing about this couple nor do I want to. I am not a vengeful person but I strongly hope that the prosecution throws the book at them.  As a start, they are each charged with two felonies as well as various misdemeanors. That should create numerous ways to get convictions. That will allow a judge to pursue a just punishment. I used to be an attorney and realize that there may be extenuating circumstances, but I cannot imagine the prolonged  agony that these animals endured.

I am fortunate to have enough property in Kanabec County such that each year I have a large property tax bill. Since I am not a resident, I am unable vote in this county. However, I can voice my opinion. The Humane Society of Minnesota, in October of 2019, in answering a complaint about the plight of the horses being in poor condition, did little to rectify the situation. They never came back to check again until February of 2020 and they were too late. As a tax payer I can only say the Humane Society of Minnesota apparently really dropped the ball. If I was supervising them they definitely would be strongly criticized and their operation examined. I also realize that that most of these organizations operate in a situation where they probably do not have enough funding. However, that is still no excuse for the ineptitude that was displayed in the way that this situation was handled. I don’t know if this an excuse or a reason but, just tell that to the starving horses.

Bill Hansen


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