More than 25 horse owners, veterinarians, law enforcement officials and interested individuals attended a three-hour presentation Monday in Butler regarding equine abuse and neglect investigation.
The event was hosted by the Western Pennsylvania Farm Alliance, which is a group that formed as a result of the seizure of horses in and around the county during the past year.
But speaker Colleen Shelly of the Animal Crime Institute said after her presentation that some rescue owners lack an understanding of the actions they are authorized to take regarding perceived neglect.
“I think a lot of it just stems from a lack of understanding and what’s needed to bring a case forward,” she said, “and sometimes that’s not what they seem on the surface.”
Shelly shared guidelines and laws regarding neglect and abuse, and encouraged the alliance to use the information to put themselves, law enforcement, veterinarians, the district attorney and rescue facilities on the same page regarding investigating cases.
Shelly said in Pennsylvania, state and municipal police have full enforcement authority for violations of state crime code regarding animals.
Humane society officers are also authorized to investigate and issue violations on animal neglect and abuse.