BOYLE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Two women facing animal cruelty charges after dozens of horses were found malnourished on a Boyle County property were due in front of a judge on Tuesday.
One of them showed, the other did not. Also in the courtroom were the watchful eyes of multiple members of the horse community wanting justice for the animals the women are accused of abusing.
"How the legal process takes place with Melanie and Jennifer is really not our main concern, our main concern is the condition of the horses themselves, " said Mike Cassedy, a member of the mustang community who has been helping care for the malnourished horses.
Cassedy and April Stark, a fellow member of the mustang community, said over the past several weeks they have been heartbroken by what they have seen.
"The conditions were deplorable, horrendous, I don't know how else to really put it, " Cassedy explained.
The pair of horse activists have been on the ground in Boyle County working to get the 34 horses nursed back to health after what was discovered in February. That was when, according to Boyle County authorities, they were called to investigate horses in a barn leased by Melanie Logue on Harrodsburg Road in Danville. Later, authorities found more malnourished horses in the barn next door leased by Jennifer Bayne-Donnell. Two horses were found dead, more have been euthanized. Logue and Bayne-Donnell face numerous charges and were due to answer to them in court on Tuesday, but Logue was a no-show.
Cassedy, who knows Logue personally, said she never let on anything like this was going on.
"If they would've been forthright and given us some indication that they were having problems, we probably would've taken the same kind of approach to help them out, " Cassedy said.
Cassedy and Stark are now educating others that no matter a person's situation, this type of abuse is never the answer.
April Stark said, "There are so many ways to ask for help, and with those choices not being made it's put these horses into literally a fight for their survival."
In court on Tuesday it was revealed the women could face additional felony charges pending an investigation. A pre-trial hearing in the case has been set for March 18th at 9 a.m. Both women remain out on bond.
Meanwhile, the horses are still being cared for by Boyle County Animal Control. They are still in need of both donations and volunteers over the age of 18 to help take care of the horses.