COHOCTAH TWP. (WWJ) – A Livingston County woman has been arraigned on felony charges of abuse and neglect over the treatment of her horses.

County Animal Control Director Debbie Oberle said that officers seized 11 horses from Velva Jean Wainscot’s land following a series of complaints.

Oberle told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil the animals are expected to be OK.

“They’re not starving at this point in time. I mean, come springtime is what usually happens, usually through the winter we get a lot of phone calls … you know, skeletons — ribs and that hanging out,” Oberle said. “We have been trying to work with the horse owner for the past few months regarding the care, I guess, of the horses … but it’s just reached a point in time when the horses needed to be seized.”

Oberle said when officers arrived the horses had no food and the little bit of water they had was frozen.

Oberle said there are a 10-year history of complaint against Wainscott and  she has been prosecuted on similar charges in previous years. Court records show she pleaded guilty in 2003 to letting animals roam at large.

Wainscott, 70, disputes the neglect claims, arguing that the horses are fine and well cared for. She is free on a $10,000 personal bond and is expected back in court on Nov. 14.

The horses were put in the care of Chase Lake Equine Center in Fowlerville and will be housed with rescue organizations for further rehabilitation.


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