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Salem Couple Charged With Animal Cruelty
Updated July 8, 2014 10:54 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(SALEM) - Jamie and Sandra Swartz, both of Salem have been charged with three counts of animal cruelty after their horses and goats were found to be malnourished and their living conditions unfit.

The animals were seized on June 14 from their property in the 7700 block of North Rush Creek Road and taken to Heartland Equine Rescue in Henryville.

Salem Animal Control Officer Randy Lee and state veterinarian Dr. Jodi Lovejoy had been to the property twice before the inspection on June 4, which led to the animals being removed 10 days later.

The inspection determined the Swartzes had not followed through with the requirements they were given to restore the health and living conditions of five horses, a pony, donkey and six goats.

The goats were nailed in an enclosure in the barn - the floor was covered with several inches of feces and urine. Food and water was either insufficient or absent.

The Salem Leader reports, Jamie Swartz told authorities he fed the horses, pony and donkey three square bales of hay per day and the horses also received a few pounds of grain a day. The goats were fed on square bale of hay a day and no grain.

Lovejoy's report states the goats had no water and some "hay material" scattered on the floor. There was only a small amount of water and a salt block available to six of the seven horses and the seventh horse, which was housed separately in a round pen, had no overhead shelter, no water or salt block.

Jamie Swartz told Lovejoy he had dewormed the horses for tapeworm approximately two to three months before the animals were seized and he had been providing the horses with daily deworming medicine. He told Lovejoy the horses lost weight after the deworming and he had stopped deworming the horses, but was thinking about going back to a regular deworming regimen.

A farrier had not been to the property since December and the last time a veterinarian had been to the property was October. Lovejoy's report says the animals under the Swartzes' care needed to be seen by a farrier every four to 12 weeks and veterinary care once a year and as needed.

"I provided Mr. Swartz handouts on the proper care and management of horses during the Jan. 15 inspection; these were in addition to the specific, written directions I provided him at the conclusion of each inspection, those taking place on May 1, 2013, Jan. 15, 2014, Feb. 26, 2014, and the current inspection on June 4, 2014," Lovejoy's report reads.

"Despite providing Mr. and Mrs. Swartz with information on proper care of horses over the course of a year, they do not appear to be able or willing to institute that care ... It is extremely unlikely the horses and goats are receiving the feeding regimen reported by Jamie and Sandra Swartz. ... Jamie and Sandra Swartz have had ample opportunity and education to provide appropriate care for the horses under their ownership.

"They have shown little to no regard for the health and well-being of the horses or the goats under their ownership and/or care. Any improvements made in the care of the horses were minimal and short-lived."

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