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Judge: Neglected horses can be adopted

Published: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 5:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 11:22 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County Judge ordered that eight horses owned by a Crystal Lake woman charged with neglecting the animals be forfeited.

Jamie A. Koy, 39, was charged in May 1 with eight counts of cruelty to animals. An additional 16 counts of violating an animal owner's duties were added later. All are Class 4 felonies.

The forfeiture, approved Friday by McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather, means that regardless of the outcome of her criminal case, Koy cannot regain ownership of the horses.

The animals now are in the care of Woodstock-based Hooved Animal Humane Society. Once they are back to health, they can be adopted.

At the time of her arrest, Koy was on probation for a previous conviction of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. As part of her probation, she was subject to inspections from McHenry County Animal Control.

On an April 25 visit, Dr. Lisa Lambke, a veterinarian and director of McHenry County Animal Control, said the horses appeared emaciated and showed signs of starvation. Many had protruding hips and bones, loss of muscle mass, hair loss and skin infections, Lambke testified during the three-hour hearing.

Koy's defense attorney, Terry Slaw, called Lambke's observations, "subjective" and noted that she performed only a visual examination, not a hands-on test of the horses when they were seized.

If found guilty, Koy faces up to three years in prison, but also could be forced to pay restitution for the animal's care through Friday. Lambke said a bill from HAHS has exceeded $12,000, and a second from the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Veterinary Medicine was more than $5,500. The more critical horses were taken to the university for treatment.

Koy's next court date is Aug. 30.

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