An East Aurora woman convicted last summer of animal cruelty will be getting some of her horses back. A state Supreme Court Court Justice in Buffalo has issued a settlement in the 52-count conviction against Beth Hoskins.
Aurora Town Justice Douglas Marky did not rule on custody at the time of the conviction, but the SPCA announced a settlement Tuesday.
The settlement will allow Hoskins to "own or possess" 35 horses through October 31, 2016. But the horses must remain in a safe, sanitary location, and that their care must meet guidelines based on the New York State Horse Council's minimum standards of care.
Hoskins will also be required to undergo regular site inspections. There will be a court-appointed inspector and with the court, they will decide the number of employees Hoskins will be required to hire for a specified number of hours per week.
Once the horses are transferred to Hoskins, she has until October 30 of this year to sell 33 of them. The first 16 horses must be sold or transferred by August 30.
“In 21 years at the SPCA Serving Erie County, I have not seen a criminal judge fail to determine the disposition of animals in a case,” says SPCA Executive Director Barbara Carr. “Judge Marky, in the criminal case, chose to shift this responsibility onto Judge Glownia in the civil case, who has worked hard on this order for several months. He feels strongly that Ms. Hoskins must have custody of her horses to sell them, which is why he put together such a tight agreement.”
Carr tells WBFO News she pleased with the settlement in the case.
"I think we are satisfied with the settlement. The whole idea is to make sure the horses are going to be cared for going forward. I think Judge Glownia worked very hard to make sure there were a lot of checks and balances, and I'm satisfied," said Carr.
"For Miss Hoskins to sell her horses, she would have to be in possession of them," noted Carr.
The SPCA had been carrying for the horses since they were removed back in March of 2010.