On Thursday, animal cruelty agents were on hand to rescue a large number of animals from a debris-strewn property on 7093 North Centenary Road in Sodus, where many horses had injuries due to the grounds conditions.
Among the 16 horses, 1 cow and a number of chickens and hens, was a horse with a puncture wound from walking on the debris, a horse with a broken leg, and two dead horses.
One miniature horse, one cow and all of the fowl that were seized were taken to the Cracker Box Palace Rescue facility.
According to Tom Littlefield, a Wayne County Animal Abuse Investigator, Lollipop Farm in Rochester was able to accommodate and board 15 of the horses.
Littlefield has been to the farm on previous occasions, but said the conditions he witnessed on Thursday had never reached this severity.
According to officials on the scene, a warrant to search the property and evaluate the animals’ condition was secured after the property owner, Cindy Denninger, refused to cooperate with authorities. A veterinarian accompanied both police and the Animal Abuse Investigators and said because of the animals’ and property conditions, the animals had to be seized immediately.
Denninger was visibly upset at the seizure. She told Littlefield she got the horses “off the track from Finger Lakes’ (race track). At one point Denninger’s daughter reportedly called Littlefield while he was on the scene, launching “a number of ‘F’ bombs via the phone. The daughter told Littlefield some of those horses were hers and were her “money makers”.
“Horses are an unbelievable amount of work and can be a lot of money to keep up. When you have 16 of them, it is just a tremendous amount of work, said Littlefield. He added that Denninger, who told him she only receives workman’s compensation, probably set out with good intentions for the animals. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” he added.
Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy said charges against Denninger will be filed this week. He added that unfortunately there is not much of a market for horses. At the present time, Cracker Box Rescue in Sodus is at capacity and was unable to take more of the seized animals. Denninger reportedly signed over the animals to the Humane Society of Monroe County.