The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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        A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for April 26 in Ottawa County Municipal Court for an Elmore man accused of posting threats on a Facebook page against the Arabian Horse Rescue Mission.

        According to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, Shaun Harder, 23, was arrested Feb. 26  on one count of aggravated menacing , a first degree misdemeanor.

        One of the comments posted by Harder on his Facebook page states: “the horses need ppl like us; the Arabian Horse rescue group needs to be slaughtered like livestock,” according to the sheriff’s department.

        On Jan. 29, Ottawa County Humane Society personnel went to a Carroll Township farm to remove horses which were suffering from severe malnourishment and dehydration.

        Forty-two charges of animal cruelty were filed in municipal court against Robin Vess, 54, who was living at the farm on Behlman Road.

        Sheriff Bob Bratton said Harder has been a volunteer with the Humane Society. That agency   became embroiled in a dispute over custody of the horses with Arabian Horse Rescue Mission, of New Jersey.

        The sheriff said a detective from his office was contacted Feb. 19 by the Toledo office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance regarding the threats on the Facebook page.

        More than 30 rescued horses were transported to the Sandusky County Fairgrounds to be rehabilitated and then sent to foster homes.

        At the time, Nancy Silva, Ottawa County Humane Officer, said she and rescue team members found one dead foal at the Vess farm and three horses that were down and had to be euthanized. One horse had to be euthanized after it was taken to the fairgrounds.

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