Ulster County Horse Owner Sentenced in Animal Cruelty CaseFeb 7th, 2015 | By HV Insider | Category: Featured Articles
Connie Dirago, 59, of Plattekill, Ulster County, was sentenced in Hamptonburgh Town Court before Town Justice Richard Golden, after her guilty plea to five counts of animal cruelty arising from her neglect of more than thirty horses on a property that she had been renting. The court sentenced Darigo to three years of probation; ordered her to make approximately $14,000 in restitution to an animal rescue agency that cared for the horses during the pendency of the case; and ordered that she have no personal or professional contact with horses for the three years of her probationary term.
The charges stemmed from an investigation of the Hamptonburgh horse farm that Dirago began renting early in March, 2014. Dirago had brought more than thirty horses on to the property. Police received information that many of the horses were underfed and malnourished, and that three horses had died since Dirago had moved them there. On March 28, 2014, the five horses involved in the charges were removed and transported to a horse-rescue sanctuary after they were found to be emaciated and near death. All of the remaining horses were also removed from the property and delivered to various farms located in Orange and Ulster counties.
“Domesticated animals require and deserve care from the people that choose to keep them,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “and it’s not fair to those animals that their owners keep them, but subject them to conditions where they aren’t given adequate food, water, or veterinary care, or where they’re otherwise subjected to cruelty. I’m gratified to see that some measure of justice has been served on behalf of the horses involved in this case, and that the horses will be properly cared for in the future.”
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Hudson Valley SPCA, and members of Equine Rescue, Inc. In addition, District Attorney Hoovler commended Executive Assistant District Attorney Andrew Kass, Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Milza, and Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Schulz for their work in the investigation and prosecution of the case.