Written by Susan Bump of California
Three years ago, I was driving home and noticed a farm with very thin horses without water. I stopped my car and got out and all the farm animals, goats, chickens, ducks, miniature horses called to me. It was 103 degrees on a sweltering summer day and I could see from the road that all of the water troughs were tipped over and empty. There weren’t even puddles near the troughs so these animals had been without water for a long time and were desperately thirsty. I called 911 and was put through to Animal Control who told me they would check on the farm within the next few days. Desperately thirsty means “Need water now, not in a few days.”
I climbed the fence and gave all of the animals water (photo above depicts the animals months later, after their rescue). I found distress of a level that I had never seen in my life. I couldn’t stop crying as I ran around and watered everyone. There was a bad smell, like dead animals and I found a dead rabbit rotting in his cage. Two skinny kittens ran after me screaming for food.
They Denied Everything
A few days later, Animal Control called me and told me they had checked the farm and everything was all right, my concern was ill founded. I felt like I had stepped into the Twilight Zone!
I continued to keep a close eye on these animals and found them all again without water two weeks later. I got the same response from Animal Control and proceeded to climb the fence and water them all again. This time I was arrested for trespassing and made headlines in the North County Times and Valley Roadrunner.
It took 9 months, several court appearances, a useless Public Defender, and then an Animal Rights Attorney stepped in and helped me.
Seven miniature horse died of dehydration and starvation and the owner, Mary Johnson, was eventually charged with six counts of Animal Cruelty and I was fined $50 for trespassing.
Would I climb that fence again knowing that a legal battle would ensue? You bet your ass I would! I had a group of solid supporters that the newspaper termed my entourage.
In the end, four animal rights activist attorney’s stepped in and put an end to the nonsense. I wrote a book about my life and my arrest that will soon be published entitled “My Wild Ride.”
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