The first order of business as we all stood in my driveway with the Pierce County Animal Control officers was my introduction to the individual I didn't know in this group. Brian Bowman, the head of the department, had been the one to place the hang tag on our gates. He had brought his horse expert, Jody Page, along for the actual inspection of our premises and the horses. As I understood it, the severity of the allegations indicated this kind of attention. That's how we'd ended up with two officers, instead of the usual one, and an actual horse person to evaluate this large number of animals and their living conditions.
From the moment Officer Page first saw me, I saw a warmth in her eyes I think was there because we are like minded spirits intent on protecting horses from those who would do them harm. At our first meeting we had spoken enough about my philosophy with horses for me to have gained some respect from this woman and for me to have the same for her since many of our beliefs about how horses should be managed ran very parallel. I imagine knowing the circumstances of my health and seeing the condition of my herd had added to that respect since it surely reinforced that I was more than just talk. In her job she is used to seeing people in difficult circumstances who claim they love their horses but are full of excuses for why their horses are at risk or even deny there is a problem..
After the introduction was made, we talked in generalities about the charges filed against me and Brian Bowman explained that he had given Dave the particulars necessary for us to get all the information under the Freedom of Information Act.
We could get the names and exact complaint but it had to be done through proper channels. It would take a few days for the Information to be mailed to us once the proper paperwork had been filed at the County Clerk's Office.
As we talked Officer Page made a remark indicating she thought the complainant was someone thinking because I breed Arabian horses I must be guilty of neglect. The last five seizures of horses in Pierce County had all been breeders of Arabian horses. "Guilt by association" were her exact words but I dismissed them believing this was something much more personal than that.
As it was both of us had information that would have affected the views of the other. None of it, however, would have changed the situation with my horses because they were not at risk in anyway. Both officers made it quite clear they considered all of the charges against me to be unfounded.
I explained to them we had experienced a minor issue with feed for a brief time in the late summer and that had been blown up to get me to give Kelly Panowicz a horse with its registration papers. I don't think I mentioned her name though or that she had wanted two horses but I did mention the rumors flying, started by her, that my horses were starving and neglected.
My instincts said this report was initiated by Kelly and that it had something to do with me not giving up the second horse she wanted. It was no coincidence this happened as I once again ended a near fatal hospitalization and was again in a very weakened and vulnerable state. I will never know for sure but I can't help but think her desire for Lucy is smack in the middle of this and that she knew how sick I again was so she thought it would work for her in some way. Whether she thought this might get her the mare or it was retaliation because I didn't give her up......somehow this had to do with Lucy and Panowicz's greed.
When AC was told that I had problems with rumors about my horses being starved and neglected to justify Kelly Panowicz's exploitation of my health to get a free horse, AC told me I should refer anyone to Animal Control about the condition of my horses. As far as they were concerned, I got a "gold star" and they were more than happy to set the record straight with anyone who thought otherwise.
To be continued.....
Stallion Behavior as Witnessed by Animal Control - Good and Bad