Goshen Woman charged with Ten Felony Counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals in connection with the Death of Nine Horses and the Mistreatment of Another Horse
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Monday, October 30, 2017, an Orange County grand jury handed up an indictment charging Jeanne Ryan, 51, of Goshen, with ten felony counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals in connection with the death of nine horses, and the mistreatment of a tenth horse, which survived. The indictment also charges Ryan with ten misdemeanor counts of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals.
On July 29, 2017, investigators from the Hudson Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with the assistance of the Town of Goshen Police Department, executed a search warrant at the barn located at Ryan’s residence in the Town of Goshen. Inside of the barn they discovered the severely decomposed remains of five horses, as well as a severely emaciated horse. Ryan was issued an Appearance Ticket made returnable in the Town of Goshen Court on September 13, 2017 in connection with misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. When Ryan appeared in Town Court, the District Attorney’s Office announced that it would be presenting the case to a grand jury to consider additional charges. Following a grand jury investigation, the Grand Jury issued a twenty-count indictment, which alleges that between March 1, 2016 and July 29, 2017, Ryan subjected ten horses to “aggravated cruelty.” “Aggravated cruelty” is defined under the law as conduct that either caused the horses extreme physical pain or was carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner. The case against Ryan will now be transferred to Orange County Court.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Hudson Valley SPCA and the Town of Goshen Police Department for their work on the case and their investigation. The investigation into the treatment of the horses at Ryan’s farm continues.
“As a society we cannot tolerate the mistreatment of horses, and other companion animals, who cannot protect themselves,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “My office will continue to work with the SPCA and our other partners in law enforcement to protect animals from neglect and abuse. When appropriate, we will ask the grand jury to consider felony charges.”
A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.