Equine Rescue

PA Horse Dealer Guilty of Animal Cruelty after New Holland Sale Attempt that left Two Horses Dead

By TOM KNAPP | Staff Writer as published on Lancaster Online

“I am grateful for the outcome and feel some justice has been found for the two horses that had to be put to sleep.”

This chestnut-colored horse, now named Anastasia's Ally, is one of three found in late July in a severely emaciated state in New Holland and is the only one of the three to survive. The 17-year-old mare is recuperating at a horse rescue farm in Woodbine, Maryland.

This chestnut-colored horse, now named Anastasia’s Ally, is one of three found in late July in a severely emaciated state in New Holland and is the only one of the three to survive. The 17-year-old mare is recuperating at a horse rescue farm in Woodbine, Maryland.

A Mifflin County man was found guilty of nine counts of animal cruelty leading to the death of two horses and leaving a third in sickly condition.

Charles Fisher of 900 Lockport Road, Lewistown, was charged in connection with an incident July 27 outside a New Holland auction house.

His wife, Lori Fisher, and Patty Sherwood of 100 Tigger Lane, McClure, also were charged. Assistant District Attorney Christine Wilson, who prosecuted the case, said charges were withdrawn against Sherwood, and Lori Fisher was found not guilty on all nine counts.

Wilson said Charles Fisher was will pay a $900 fine, court costs and restitution in the amount $1,390, payable to the Lancaster County SPCA.

He was tried Wednesday morning before District Judge Jene Wilwerth. He has the option to appeal.

Besides a count of animal cruelty attached to each of the horses, Fisher was charged with additional charges for depriving the horses of necessary food and veterinary care, and for arranging the sale of animals in poor condition.

According to a report Sept. 8, Fisher was involved with transporting or arranging transport to New Holland of three Arabian-type horses — a roan-colored, a dark bay-colored and a chestnut-colored mare — in “an inhumane manner.”

Because of the “severely dilapidated condition” of the horses, they were unable to sustain their own weight during transport, according to citations filed before DJ Rodney Hartman. All three horses were described in the documents as emaciated and lethargic.

The roan horse sustained nerve damage to its leg when it fell, and the bay suffered “further stress and deterioration,” the citations said. Both had to be euthanized.

The 17-year-old chestnut mare survived.

Susan Martin, director of the Lancaster County SPCA, said the animal shelter got involved after receiving a tip about the transaction.

The horses were being sold on a Sunday evening in the parking lot at New Holland Sales Stables, 101 W. Fulton St., she said. The auction house was closed at the time and “had nothing to do with this,” Martin said.

The SPCA took custody of the horses, she said, and Brandywine Valley Veterinary Hospital in Coatesville provided critical-care treatment for three weeks for the surviving mare. The other two horses were euthanized the next day.

The surviving horse was taken Aug. 13 to Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine, Maryland. Martin said the mare, named Anastasia’s Ally, is now in “very good” condition — the horse has gained 128 pounds since August.

“Although I wished the fines would have been steeper,” Martin said, “I am grateful for the outcome and feel some justice has been found for the two horses that had to be put to sleep.”

Martin said this was by far the worst case of horse abuse that she’s seen, and is the only case in which horses had to be euthanized.

28 replies »

    • $900 – is this all that the poor horses were worth? When does it end. Please tell me that he will not get this horse back after paying the stupid fines. I will never understand how this happenes nor the mentallity of people who do thing kind of thing.


  1. These 2 are very sick people who definetly need help. any one that can do that to innocent horses, is beyond greed and just plain ole sick bastards and should feel what those poor horses went through !!!! Now that would be Karma Justice !!!!!


  2. And this, folks, is why animal abusers continue. The law is there and is clear. The enforcement is engaged in other productive activities. Prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law is not of interest.

    If those were humans – would we applaud a miserly fine, let two get off with no charges? Would we allow them to stay in the business of providing care? But since they are JUST animals, we are just supposing the suffering.

    Where is the outrage? There is no justice done here and there are more poor “suffering” animals behind the shed never to be spoken to. I sure hope you never see what is going on at the Bernarde auction in Mexico – it would stupify you.

    Because of this.


  3. Sorry, but $1390 fine is basically like saying ‘next time dont get caught’. We need actual jail time to be served for provable cases of animal abuse such as this one.


  4. 2 horses had to be put down. They all had been abused and were malnourished. How can the judge not have given different sentencing? Mandatory jail time, steeper fines and the stipulation that he, or his wife NEVER have in their possession or own a horse again!!! That would have been more like justice for these 3 horses, not that slap on the wrist. Where is the FBI with the new law that makes horse abuse a class A felony?


  5. Yes Arlene—-Karma it will come back to bite people in the ass—–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jMH1QLBrq8&feature=youtube_gdata_player


  6. This is such a tragedy for these poor horses. Does anyone know if there are resources for horse (and other pet) owners if they fall on hard times and can no longer afford to care for their pets? You hear every day about shelters and sanctuaries being full, and there are good owners who just can’t afford to take care of their pets any more through no fault of their own. It would be nice if there were resources available so that these good owners could keep their horses (dogs, cats, etc.). I understand that this is not one of those cases, and that what these people did was incredibly vile, but wouldn’t it be nice if there were places that people could turn to for help who sincerely want to keep their pets or at least find a wonderful home for them.


  7. SHARED WITH this comment: Just makes me so mad I want to spit in that jerk’s face. Stiffer fines need to be put into the law. Hope this jerk off winds up on the new FBI Animal Cruelty National List (just like a sex offender). All three horses suffered so much. Only one survives and has gained 128 lbs!!!!


  8. Sorry I couldnt even watch the whole thing , i cried for the horses, I could just take that stick and you know with it to those horrible men !!!


  9. This is why many of us have become Horse Warriors championing the changes that will make legislation and ENFORCE it in the many areas where horses are abused for entertainment (rodeos, racing, any horse competition, jumping, cross-country eventing, endurance, and most certainly the cruel horse tripping and horse soring evil practices) or out of just plain mean stupidity (animal cruelty) and for those that disregard the basic needs of a horse (clean water, good quality hay/pasture/grain, vet/farrier/dental care, shelter, exercise and love), animal neglect. Here is some recent progress in the horse soring practices. http://knoxblogs.com/humphreyhill/2014/08/23/congressmen-call-stricter-enforcement-horse-protection-laws-tn-walking-horse-show/


  10. Actually, I believe people like this are hopeless. They will never change, and only public pressure and condemnation — and strict laws enforced without fail — will stop them. Very simply, I despise these monsters and the indifferent legal and “justice” community that allows this to happen, again and again, without any real consequence to the criminals.


    • Geri,
      If those pictures don’t wake people up to this carnage – what would? It just makes me feel so damn helpless. Unfortunately, the people who “just cant look at that because it makes them feel bad” are the ones who NEED to see it. This just breaks my heart.


  11. I contacted Days End Rescue on FB and here’s the update of Anastasia, the one surviving horse. Hard to believe there was a beautiful Arabian in that tortured bag of bones above. I love Good Horse News on Sunday!!!!! (and any day). 11/8/14 from Days End Farm Horse Rescue~She is doing very well! She’s just about finished her rehab and we’ll be evaluating her under saddle soon. Attached is a picture from this past Tuesday, November 4th.
    Days End Farm Horse Rescue’s photo. https://scontent-a-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/10576972_10203293248956676_9036892767566934681_n.jpg?oh=6fefc76a98e643f06d72544e34fcb3e0&oe=54DDA39D


  12. Can’t believe that the photo of Anastasia is the same horse. THere’s a world of difference is the two photos. God Bless Days End Farm Horse Rescue for the great job of caring for her. It’s just too bad the other Arabians didn’t get the same chance at survival. This despicable man should have gotten a much stiffer sentence, with a long time in jail and that he could NEVER own any kind of animal again. This is what is wrong with our justice system, animals don’t have any justice. One day during my lifetime, I hope this will change and everyone that hurts an animals will have a long time in jail and huge fines and published in paper and TV that they are a convicted animal abuser.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I know what I would like to do with this sob. His life would be hell on earth and his wife and other party are accessories and should have charged as well. Any animal abuse should have harsher punishment and be just as harsh as if inflicted on a human. I hate all these people having to do with animal cruelty and their is no excuse for their doing it. I wish I could have the money to have saved all three of these beautiful animals that God gave us. They are truly God’s gifts to us along with our dogs, cats, donkeys, and mules. May one day we see true justice for any animal cruelty. I only wish I could give the sentences because they would wish they were on another planet with my sentencing.

    Liked by 1 person

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