The owner of an Oak Harbor where dozens of malnourished horses were rescued has pleaded not guilty to 42 counts of animal cruelty.
A lawyer for Robin Vess entered her pleas in an Ottawa County court on Thursday after stating that Vess had been hospitalized for depression. Vess is accused of abusing more than 30 Arabian horses at her farm, allowing them to starve and not seeking medical care for them. Vess' lawyer claims some of the horse's were in poor physical condition due to illness and not lack of food.
Six of the horses eventually died. The remaining horses, found severely malnourished, were signed over by Vess to the Arabian Rescue Mission on Feb. 3. The Humane Society is currently caring for the horses. Nursing them back to health is expected to cost upwards of $10,000.
The rescue mission, in a deal with the Humane Society of Ottawa County, says they will send the remaining horses to foster homes across Ohio.