BERKLEY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — With assistance from the Berkley Police Department, the Animal Rescue League of Boston Law Enforcement has filed animal cruelty charges against the former owner of nine ponies at a breeding farm in Berkley. According to officials, the owner left their horses to starve, finding three ponies dead on the property.
The ARL Law Enforcement Department says they've filed 13 counts of animal cruelty against owner Gary Bolger of Berkley, who's scheduled to be arraigned at Taunton District Court later in May.
The ARL and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - Angell Animal Medical Center said in a joint statement on Tuesday that the ponies were removed from the property because of unsanitary conditions and poor access to food and water.
"The animal inspectors, because of COVID, had delayed inspections. Lots of times we see horse cases where they start to deteriorate in the cold weather, they get to a thin condition and they're just burning up," said ARL Lieutenant Alan Borgal.
According to animal rescue officials, the horses registered between one and two on the Henneke Equine scale, classifying them as emaciated.
Three of the ponies were taken to the ARL's Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, while the remaining six were brought to the MSPCA's Nevins Farm in Methuen, officials said..
In terms of putting the horses up for adoption, the MSPCA's Roger Lauze told WBZ's Karyn Regal it may not happen immediately.
"They haven't been handled much and they've got to get used to being handled again. It'll take a while before we can get them ready for adoption because of that fact. There's one at our place we still can't get a halter on her- she's very friendly, likes to get patted, but she won't let us put a halter on her. It's just going to take a little bit of time," Lauze said.
Officials also say that the horses will have to reach a healthy weight and warm up to people before they're put up for adoption, a process that could take weeks.
WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports.