Paula Kay Redding, 55, of New Virginia, was accused of neglect after a Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy found horses with their ribs sticking out on a farm in southwestern Warren County.
Redding skipped a custody hearing for the horses last week, but showed up Wednesday to quickly sign papers that gave the horses to the ARL.
She walked into the courtroom without a lawyer and shot some angry remarks at representatives from the ARL.
About one of the horses, Redding said: “She sure lived a lot longer than one day. The horse you wanted to shoot with the policeman’s gun.”
“I think you should take the suggestion my son gave you and go back to school for a while,” Redding told one ARL representative before she walked out of the courtroom.
Deputy Jon Wilbur was called earlier this month to investigate horses at 7715 G76 Highway when an anonymous caller said there were horses on the farm getting skinnier every day, according to a police report.
At the farm, Wilbur noticed trees inside the horse paddock had their bark removed by the horses.
“The bark on the living trees has been removed to about the height of nine to 10 feet,” Wilbur wrote in his report. “The horses would have to be standing on their hind legs to get that high to get at the bark.”
Wilbur found Spencer Martin, who is related to the Reddings, on the property. Wilbur asked if he could take a closer look at the horses.
Martin approved, but allegedly warned Wilbur that the horses “don’t look good.”
Wilbur asked why and Martin replied the horses had been neglected since Paula’s husband died a while ago, according to the report.
Next, Redding will return to court to face criminal charges. A non-jury trial is currently scheduled for June 30.
The Animal Rescue League sent three people to the farm on March 31 and determined the animals had been neglected. The horses were removed from the farm the same day.
The ARL is accepting donations online, by phone at 515-473-9107, or by mail to help supply food and care for the rescued horses.
Donation checks directed to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa can be sent to 5452 N.E. 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313.
(Des Moines Register - April 7, 2017)