Missing horse may have been stolen

December 22, 2004|BOBBIE CURD

LANCASTER - A gelding at Friday's auction at Garrard County Stockyards is missing, said Kim Hurst, president of the Jessamine County Humane Society.

"Geronimo" is one of 30 animals previously owned by Angela Marzec in Jessamine County. They were seized from her farm in March of 2003 due to animal cruelty charges in which Marzec was later found guilty.

Hurst said she left the stockyards at 8:30 p.m. Friday," ...and the horse was there."

Robert Noe, who works for the stockyards, said the horse was moved into a pen by some workers at 10 p.m.

"That's the last we saw of the horse. I've had a telephone call from the police and they talked to another guy who works here, so I know they're working on it, but not sure what's been found out up to this point," Noe said.


Hurst arrived at the stockyards the next morning to begin hauling the horses, and noticed that Geronimo was missing. After a search of the farm where the horses were being kept, as well as double checking her records to make sure the horse wasn't sold without her knowledge, she contacted police.

"It was a little hard to convince the police at first that the horse was missing," Hurst said.

Ultimately a report was completed and filed Monday morning, which included a drawing of the horse detailing specific characteristics of his markings.

"We hope that because the white marks on his neck, legs and rear he will be easy to spot," Hurst said.

Lancaster Police Chief Ron Lamb said that the investigation is pending, and to his knowledge there are no updates.

"It was one of the horses that the circuit judge out of Jessamine County ordered to be sold after it had been taken from its owner due to a case with the humane society," Lamb explained.

Judge ordered sale of horses

Jessamine County Circuit Judge Hunter Daugherty ordered the horses be sold because the cost for the humane society had already reached $100,000.

Even though the horses were with a foster owner, the non-profit organization still pays the bill for initial veterinarian costs and other services.

"There were several services that were provided to us by volunteers as well, but it was difficult to keep this up," Hurst said.

Hurst thinks people do not realize what animals like this take to maintain.

"I think that some of the cruelty problems we have are out of total ignorance," Hurst said.

Marzec was found guilty of 20 counts of animal cruelty which cost her $5,300 in fines "... which she hasn't paid yet, and there is a bench warrant out for her arrest," commented Hurst.

Marzec and her family sued the Jessamine humane society in June to have the animals returned.

Although their attempt to get the horses back failed, they have also cited allegations against the organization that it destroyed their pony riding business as well as their property during the confiscation.

"Absolutely ridiculous charges. What they've said we've done since the confiscation is beyond anything you can imagine. They went so far as to accuse the humane society of selling the animals for a profit, while they were in the care of foster owners the entire time."

One of the humane society's biggest concerns is that someone from the Marzec family would be at the auction and attempt to get the horses back.

"But to our knowledge, she didn't show, nor did anyone else who represented her," Hurst said, adding they really didn't expect to see Marzec since there is a warrant out for her arrest.

The amount brought in from the horse auction, minus the transportation and other costs, will be held in escrow until the civil case is settled.

Anyone with any information about Geronimo is asked to call the Lancaster Police Department at (859) 792-3023.

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