Loxahatchee Groves Case With 13 counts of Animal Cruelty
Janet Greene and her husband Craig have said the health of their treasured horses failed in a calamity that began with their unexpected eviction and was compounded by Tropical Storm Isaac (source, full story).
But the county’s top animal investigators said that in the span of two months, one sick horse ended up becoming two dead horses and 13 sick ones, and they placed that blame squarely on Janet Greene, the horse’s owner of record.
Wednesday, three weeks after her horses were confiscated from a Loxahatchee Groves property, Greene was charged with 13 counts of animal cruelty and one count of confining the animals without enough food. The animal cruelty charges are felonies, the remaining charge is a misdemeanor.
Greene was booked into the county jail and released Thursday after posting a $7,500 bond, according to jail records and her attorney Mitchell Beers. The judge also required that no horses may be in Greene’s care while the criminal case proceeds.
Meanwhile, the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control division continues to care for the horses and is seeking custody of them in separate civil action.
“The goal would be to place them with somebody else who could nurse them back to full health,” said division Capt. Dave Walesky. “We can’t afford to be in the business of horse rehabilitation. We have to work on other cases.”
Greene had euthanized one horse the day before officers arrived to take the lot.
Of the 14 horses confiscated on Nov. 7, one was so ill it had to be euthanized within a day. The remaining horses have made some progress after moving to Animal Care and Control property on Belvedere Road. But they have not completely recovered, Walesky said.
Greene has turned over the custody of one of the confiscated horses, leaving 12 whose custody will be in dispute, Walesky said.
The county’s animal care and control officers were first alerted to the horses’ plight Aug. 25, when a neighbor complained of horses on the property living without food and shelter. “Some of the horses are emaciated,” according to records of the complaint.
In Florida, animal cruelty can be charged as anything from a civil infraction up to a felony. Those charges, as well as fines, add up when a person is charged with cruelty or neglect to a group of animals. Lawyer Andrew Stine won a test Florida case that established if a person is charged with animal neglect of a group of animals (such as 100 dogs or 25 horses), the person can only be charged with one crime.
Animal Cruelty Defense
Defense in animal cases usually involves a thorough investigation and expert testimony from veterinarians and other animal owners as to what the community standard is for taking care of animals. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., we go beyond this basic defense strategy to help our clients avoid fines and other costs associated with the crime.
Our law firm has an exceptional track record of getting many animal cruelty charges dismissed prior to trial. Andrew Stine is also experienced in clearing arrest records through the expungement process. If your record has been cleared and you are asked on a job application or apartment lease if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you can confidently answer, “no.”
Animal Care and Control (ACC)
The ACC is responsible for the initial investigation in an animal cruelty complaint. Often they will walk through yards or look through fences for evidence police can use to obtain a search warrant. These searches walk a fine line between what is legal and what violates Fourth Amendment rights.
Andrew Stine loves animals and owns several. However, he loves people and protecting their rights more. If any evidence is obtained through an illegal search of property, he will strive to have that evidence suppressed and the case dismissed, if possible.