Probation given in horse case

Published 2:29 am Friday, March 24, 2006

By By NORMA LERNER / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS - On Thursday morning in Cass County District Court, Penny Lynn Harlan, 47, received 18 months probation from Judge Paul Deats on two misdemeanor counts of horse abuse. During that time, Deats ordered $3,584.71 to be paid toward veterinarian bills and that Harlan have no horses in her possession or ownership.
The Benton Harbor woman who temporarily housed her 30 horses at a farm on Redfield Road in Milton Township while moving to Illinois was turned over to authorities in October for abusing horses.
Deats also ordered fines and costs of $700 for each of the two counts or 70 days in jail each count. He canceled her bond.
Defense Attorney James Boardman of St. Joseph said Harlan objected to an amount of restitution being asked for surgery on a colt that was born while the horses were with Shari Weidman, owner of the farm on Redfield Road.
Harlan said she accepted responsibility and also requested the return of some property she left at Weidman's to which Deats suggested that it be returned.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jason Ronning said the horses were removed from the Weidman's farm last month because they were becoming a financial burden to her.
They were taken to a stable at Camp Bellowood in Union.
Ronning said a boarding cost of about $28,000 is expected to be recovered by the forthcoming selling of the horses. Animal Control Director Patrick Fetherston said bids received on the horses will be opened at 10 a.m. this morning at the Kincheloe Room of the courthouse at 120 North Broadway. Minimum bids were requested at $1,000 each for the horses which were placed for sale on the Internet.
The horses remain stabled in Union.