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Stamford Police: Pair neglected horses that had to be euthanized

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STAMFORD – Two people are facing animal cruelty charges after police say they neglected horses at a farm on Old Long Ridge Road in Stamford.

On Jan, 25, police were alerted to possible neglect at Rock Spring Farms. New England Equine called police after they had been caring for a horse brought to their facility the day before. The 3-year-old horse “Muppet” was dehydrated and malnourished.

Police say they found the barn in deplorable state. The barn had five remaining horses in the barn. One 4-year-old horse, “Lacey,” was positioned on the ground and gasping for air. The barn had holes in the walls, wires exposed, doors unsecured and all the stalls appeared not to be cleaned with a large amount of manure left for the animals to lie on, according to police. There was a sparse amount of food left for the equines and any water that had been left was frozen over.

Both “Muppet” and “Lacey” had open sores, matted and wet fur, and may bones exposed from a lack of nutrition. A veterinarian determined they both had to be euthanized.

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The owner of the barn was located and identified as Eileen Lenihan, 57. She said she owned several of the horses and the others were owned by Jose Dejesus Rodriquez, 37. Lenihan says Rodriquez was supposed to be caring for the stable and the horses on her property.

Neither Lenihan nor Rodriquez had an explanation of why the stable was in such a deplorable state, according to police.

This location had also been a subject of neglect complaints in the past which had been investigated by the animal control unit. The remaining horses were examined by veterinarians, treated, removed and placed in an equine rescue through the course of this investigation.

Both suspects are charged with cruelty to animals and have been released on bond.