Two local women arrested for animal cruelty

Published 9:59 am Thursday, September 20, 2012

Two Crenshaw County women were arrested last week on cruelty to animals charges stemming from their operation of South Alabama Equine Rescue and Rehab.

Vicki M. Law, 49, and Laura B. Simmons, 28, a mother and her daughter, were arrested after the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Department had received several complaints over the past weeks about the conditions of horses at their operation, which is located on Highway 331 near Highland Home.

“We were actually able to get help from some witnesses that had stopped while a horse was down,” said Investigator Heath Truman. “They wound up shooting the horse.  When they were asked why the horse was so emaciated, they said revenue was down and they didn’t have revenue for food.”

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Truman said that warrants were obtained through witness statements, and both were charged with one count of cruelty to animals.

“A petition for removal was filed, and we went up there and inventoried 34 horses,” Truman said. “We couldn’t find placements for all 34, so Monika [Orendorf] with Dusty Trails Horse Rescue in Montgomery inventoried the 10 worst, and we removed three or four that day.”

Truman said Simmons was told that they would return the next day and that none of the horses were to be removed.

“When we went back the next day to get the rest, they were all gone,” Truman said.

Simmons was re-arrested for obstructing government operations.

Truman said Law and the horses were located near Birmingham, and additional charges are pending.

Truman also said that the Humane Society has gotten involved in the case.

“The Humane Society of the United States is pleased to be able to offer assistance in this case,” Mindy Gilbert, Alabama state director for The HSUS, said in a press release. “These horses are in desperate need of proper care and attention, and we’re happy to partner with Dusty Trails Horse Rescue to provide them with a safe haven at last.”

The Humane Society said the horses will be examined by veterinarians and given any necessary immediate medical treatment while housed at Dusty Trails Horse Rescue in Montgomery County.

The Humane Society also says it is providing financial assistance to help care for the horses.