• 37°

Two enter guilty pleas to animal abuse charges

Two women who were charged in February with multiple counts of animal cruelty after neglected and starved horses were found on a farm they were renting on U.S. 127 are receiving their final sentencing in Boyle County District Court.

Jennifer Bayne-Donnell, 47, of Perryville, and Melanie Logue, 48, of Danville, were arrested and charged after an investigation found multiple horses in their care that were neglected and severely malnourished inside two barns on the property they were leasing. Horses in the stalls were standing in about a foot or more of manure, and others were found dead in the stalls.

In mid-August, Bayne-Donnell pleaded guilty to 23 charges of second-degree cruelty to animals. The court sentenced her to 365 days on each count, to run concurrently, and serve 10 days in jail or 20 days of home incarceration, with the remaining time probated 11 months. She is also not to own any horses for two years. A restitution hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 21 to reimburse the Boyle County Animal Shelter for expenses it incurred while caring for the animals until homes were found for them.

Logue appeared in district court last week on 18 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals and two counts of disposition of carcasses within 48 hours. Formal sentencing will be Sept. 14, as requested by County Attorney Chris Herron.

Both women were leasing barns and lots at a farm at 4600 Harrodsburg Road in Boyle County, where the starving, neglected and malnourished horses were found.

Logue was arrested Feb. 19 after Kentucky State Police discovered a dead horse next to a barn when serving an eviction notice on Feb. 14. KSP alerted the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and the following Monday, animal cruelty inspectors were on the property. Another dead horse was found in a stall, and a third was euthanized.

While investigators were on the property, more issues were found in another barn, which Bayne-Donnell was leasing, including 16 horses found to be grossly underweight, standing in stalls filled with more than a foot of manure. Five more malnourished horses were discovered on a Faulkner Station Road farm property she was also leasing. Bayne-Donnell was arrested Feb. 21.

The Boyle County Animal Shelter was immediately responsible for caring for the 41 horses, including not only feeding them, but also having a veterinarian assess their condition and take blood and fecal samples. Also, four inmates of the local jail worked for days shoveling thousands of pounds of manure out of stalls making the two barns livable.

There was a tremendous outpouring of people and businesses donating hay, feed, money and supplies to care for the animals.