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Police close probe into horse cruelty

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MALONE — An investigation against the owners of emaciated horses in Moira has been dropped and no arrests will be made, according to state police.

State police received several calls May 29 about possible animal cruelty to three horses, according to Trooper Jennifer Fleishman, public information officer for Troop B.

Moira Town Supervisor Cindy Gale said the horses used to be on Clark Street and were moved to Best Road this summer.

Owners Frank Burgess and Brenda Waite Shampo said they received the horses in the same condition a few months ago, according to state police.

Trooper Fleishman said Monday that the horses recently were moved to an undisclosed location. Mr. Burgess and Ms. Shampo still own one of the horses, police said. They could not be reached for comment.

Veterinarian Julie Clas “determined it was doing much better, so they will keep it,” Franklin County District Attorney Derek P. Champagne said, referring to reports he received from the state police.

Ms. Gale recounted an unpleasant conversation with Ms. Shampo in May.

“She told me she was trying to fix them up and that she got them like that,” Ms. Gale said in June. She said she contacted police after the confrontation.

Mr. Champagne said police visited the area no fewer than 20 times, and Trooper Fleishman said the visiting officer “always found plenty of water and food.”

Ms. Gale said that was because other residents were feeding them.

Mr. Champagne said one of the horses had to be taken to an equine facility for better nourishment and treatment.

Despite calls to police, he said, no one had provided a sworn statement or evidence that the animals were being abused.

“Someone needs to come forward with a sworn statement from the New York State Police that there is an alleged crime,” he said. “No one has given a sworn statement to me.”

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