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Too Bad Nobody
Took Him Home...
Horse Cruelty Information
Title 18, Section 5511
PA State Police arrest horse dealer at PA horse auction
PA State Police Enforce
Down and bleeding inside a trailer with Maine license plates at a New Holland, PA auction. Reportedly the horse later died. No charges were ever filed. Blood was pooling on the ground under and outside the trailer.
The Labor Day Mares
A Mule & 2 Standardbreds-
Downed Filly Shipped
The Horse that the Killers Refused & the Vet Passed
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WHAT I SAW AT NEW HOLLAND
BY: An eyewitness who promised to tell everyone!!!Paperhorse covered this incident.
In April of 1998 I attended the New Holland Sales Stables during a Monday horse auction. I was an eye witness to a series of events that everyone should know about. I was walking around the back pen area to look at some horses, and came around the corner in time to see a mule being shooed off the back of one of those 18 wheeler trucks. He was really big, Palamino colored, and had to find his way through a doorway in the back of the truck that was only about 3' wide, and because it didn't fall even with the ground level of the shipping dock he had to sort of climb down. It was about a foot and a half or so to drop down to the floor level. But he actually made a lot of noise because he had to heave himself down and nearly fell all the way to the floor, so he made a lot of scrambling sounds; the reason he was scrambling was because he only had 3 legs. His right front leg was totally broken off at the knee and was swinging all over the place; there was no blood but you could tell that it was totally snapped apart and only still hanging on by skin. He tried to use it but it would angle sideways whenever he tried to put it down, and the bottom of his hoof would slap against the floor. Apparently I was not supposed to see this because a big man immediately came up to me and got in my face and snarled at me. He was trying to make me back up and leave. But I managed to stay because apparently a humane officer from the Lancaster County Humane League was in there and so was a vet. So I stayed and watched. Another man sidled up to me and stood beside me and tried to ask me questions, I think he was trying to see if I called in a complaint on them. He was trying to act as though the man who owned the truck should be in trouble for having the mule on his trailer, but I think he was trying to get me to agree and say something. He kept saying "they shouldn't be allowed to do that, and should be stopped before they come in here". A couple of other killer buyers started to come over to see what was going on; everybody who saw the mule of course could see that the leg was severely broken off. The mule wouldn't move, he was swollen all the way from his fetlock to his withers but it still wasn't enough to splint the leg at all. It was obvious to everybody that the mule needed to have been shot or euthanised immediately when he first broke it. Then I overheard the humane officer talking to the trucker (who's name is Arlo Kiehl) and the trucker was saying that he had got the mule from another auction a couple days ago; so that meant that the poor animal had been on that trailer for at least the past two days with no food or water or medicine or anything. It made me really angry. Kiehl was such a smooth liar, because I then heard him tell the humane officer that he liked horses and didn't want to ship injured animals on his truck, either. It was said so smoothly and he looked the humane officer dead in the eye; the humane officer was having this happy little chat with him while that poor mule kept trying to stand there and suffer. So the humane officer says to Kiehl "Well, if you drive away with him, I'm going to have to arrest you for cruelty". Which I thought was entirely absurd since Kiehl had just admitted to trailering him in that condition inside the trailer of his 18-wheeler all the way to the New Holland sale, and so had ignored the mule for the past two days. Somewhere along the line I overheard somebody say that the mule had been an Amishman's plowing horse and the Amishman had snapped the leg off, then tried to get meat money (I guess directly from Kiehl) by putting him onto Kiehl's truck while it was at the Middleburg auction a few days earlier. Which meant the Amish guy must have trucked this poor mule all the way to Middleburg first. Then Kiehl's pals are all hanging around the mule and looking at the leg, it was grossly deformed and sticking out to the side. One of them goes "Hey Arlo, what do you mean you couldn't tell it was broken, didn't you go to 4-H when you were a kid?" Arlow looks down and goes "Yeah, I went to 4-H, but I didn't think it was broken, I though it was just a bowed tendon or something." Everybody started guffawing at him and laughing like crazy, because it would have been obvious to a two year old child that the mule couldn't stand up on it since it was snapped in two pieces. They got a really big kick out of him trying to pretend he didn't know and that it wasn't a bad injury. So then the vet gets ready to put the mule down. She has to explain to Kiehl that the mule's pulse is extremely high, his breathing is really fast and he is in "severe distress", and she made him stand there and discuss costs of the mule's options (like x-rays and stuff). I think it was really just an act that the vet must have to go through, because she had to explain that his prognosis (after extraordinary repair surgery and extensive recovery care) would be extremely poor and he would probably have to be humanely destroyed anyway, even after spending many thousands of dollars. Not to mention he shouldn't be moved, and that the auction house was not an appropriate veterinary and surgical facility to do the job in anyway. (Of course that is pretty obvious since the place is so filthy and there are dead animals lying right outside the door in a big pile all the time.) Meanwhile, they next chased the mule into a little pen; he had to bob up and down to get there and his leg was swinging all over the place in a wild arc. I thought they were going to kill him over at the kill pile but were afraid they had too many people who would witness that his leg was snapped all the way off, plus since he had to heave himself around every step he took it was really terribly obvious. So the humane officer asks Kiehl how far he was going to ship the mule, and Kiehl says "Oh. it's not far, it's only about six hours". (Which is total bullshit because where he was going to take the mule to be slaughtered in Canada is a place called Barton Feeders in Owen Sound, and it is easily ten or twelve hours by car; I used to go vacationing up there and visit friends a lot.) Anyway, that big guy turned back and got in my face again and tried to make me leave. He obviously helps run the place and it was REALLY obvious I wasn't supposed to see and hear all of this. So I told him I had asked the vet if she wanted help and so then he snaps at the vet "Hey Doc, did you say this person could help you?" So the vet looks over at me and says that yes, she needs an assistant. So I went over to the mule and took a really good look; his eyes had absolutely NOTHING in them, he was obviously already pretty far gone and could barely deal with everything. It was like he was dead already. I was really mad and silently promised him that I would tell people what had happened to him so they understood that the Amish and the killer buyers have a thing going on with these two auctions, and can cripple horses and ruin them so badly then hide them in their trucks where normal people can't see inside. I know that if a horse had snapped a leg off that badly at the racetrack with everybody watching, then he'd be swarmed with vets and helpers so the public would see him getting humanely euthanised immediately, so they would be assured that he wouldn't suffer very long. I've been to racetracks and steeplechases and things where that actually happened. Everybody is upset but at least they know it gets put out of it's misery. Anyway, the humane officer sat there taking pictures of the snapped leg and then the vet put him down. The mule slid down right on the broken leg which of course gave out sideways, and then he fell along the wall. I was really glad he was dead. So then, I hear the vet and humane officer discussing ANOTHER horse on the trailer, and that was why they had been called to the scene in the first place. Apparently when they went inside Kiehl's trailer to see this first horse, they discovered the mule hiding in a corner up near the front. Other horses were in there which blocked anybody from seeing him earlier. While the vet is in there I stood out by the door and waited, and I saw Kiehl trying to quick sprinkle a couple bags of shavings so they would cover up the metal floor which was all covered with urine and some manure. I could see that it must be extremely slippery for the horses, there were skid marks all though the manure since it wasn't very deep. I realized it must be like us walking on ice. I also could tell that he was only doing it because the vet and humane officer were actually inside of his truck, otherwise he would have done it long before that moment. Besides, there were only three bales, and that is hardly enough to cover the whole floor of a tractor trailer. My own stalls need more than that. So the next animal they send out of the back of the trailer is a bay Standardbred horse who was ALSO an Amish horse. The guy who was sliding over to me and asking me questions earlier came over to me again, and started to try and find out if I knew anything. So I walked around the other side of the pen because I kept getting the creeps from him. He was even trying to convince me to come buy a horse from him, saying he only sells good ones and doesn't agree with what the killer buyer did. The Standardbred who was now in a pen in front of us and was also on three legs, but was not as bad as the mule. Somebody had tried to put a bandage on the broken leg (down around his fetlock) with vetrap; I'm pretty sure they did it to hide the injury. So the vet was trying to cut it off to examine him, too. He also had a rapid heartbeat and was breathing fast and shallow; so obviously he was in pain. She went through the same questions and answers about his prognosis and said he obviously needed immediate treatment and could not travel in that condition. The auction guy who had tried to chase me away earlier then got into a conversation with the humane officer about finding out who the owner of the Standardbred was, and seeing if he wanted to take responsibility for the Standardbred. Kiehl said he wasn't going to be financially responsible for the medical bills. So everybody waited a minute or two until somebody went to find the Amishman and then somebody from the management office came back and said "He said he doesn't want him". (I heard later on through the grapevine that somebody had actually seen that Amishman meet with Kiehl early that morning, then told him he "had a bad one". So then Kiehl had the Amishman slip it into his truck by sneaking the Standardbred in through the side door of the auction, instead of going through the front door like everybody else has to.) Anyway, the Standardbred hopped on his three legs over and into the pen with the dead mule. Then he put his head down and started sniffing the mule's body. It was really sad. They closed the gates behind the dead horse and the doomed one. I guess the obnoxious manager bully decided I must be helping again this time because he left me alone. That was why I got to watch them euthanise this horse, too. So the Standardbred also had some pictures taken of his injury, and the humane officer and vet went into the pen and put him down, too. He fell across the broken leg of the mule, and it was really an awful sight to see the palomino colored mule laying in all that manure and facing one way, with the bay body of the Standardbred sprawled across his front end and facing the other way. Kind of head to tail. It reminded me of the pictures you see of those mass graves in Aucewitz, with all of the people's starved bodies all tangled up. Anyway, Kiehl was standing next to me this whole time, never saying a word. I realized he probably thought he should remain quiet and pretend like it was a solemn moment, but his brain was probably figuring out how much actual money he wasn't going to make at the slaughterhouse the next day instead, just because he was caught. Naively, I was expecting the humane officer to arrest him on the spot. Next thing I know, this new guy comes CHARGING around the corner, all pissed off and yelling "That better not be one of mine they put down!" and he's staring into a different pen about thirty feet away, where some other kill horses are walking around. Apparently he was another killer buyer and he just heard about this out front (where the normal people usually are) and came running back. He was really threatening, and was saying stuff like "They better NOT be pulling horses off of MY truck" and stuff like that. Once he saw it was Arlow who had been caught, he turned around and left. Next thing you know, I hear there is a THIRD broken-legged horse on that trailer. At least, they suspect a low fracture (like a coffin bone or something) because of the way the third horse is trying to stand on it. The vet is professional but angry, she says she hates this place and that she had no idea they actually do things like this to the horses although she had heard stories about it before. The worst thing is, on a normal day she might put one horse down, so they usually carry a second, back up supply of euthanasia on their truck. NEVER do they need three. So she didn't have anymore of the barbituates with her, and that meant if the third horse's exam gave a "conclusive broken leg and he could not travel on it", she couldn't put it down anyway. So they were going to have to let Kiehl ship that one to the slaughterhouse. What really pissed me off was the humane officer's attitude; he didn't really feel like being there and was smirking, like he had way better things to do. I said something about the horse's injury and he say's "Aw, c'mon, you know they are just going to die anyway. These horses here are all going to the slaughterhouse tonight." So I said he didn't seem like he really wanted to be there today, and he said no, he'd rather be putting dogs and cats down today. So he was just going through the motions because he was supposed to, and he wasn't about to try any harder than that. I found out later his name is Keith and he works for the Lancaster County Humane League, and that they are supposed to look out for cruelty at this place and they have the same powers that regular police have (as far as arresting people for cruelty). He's got a long stringy pony tail and looks totally unprofessional. So then I left the dead mule and Standardbred, and went outside and sat down to think about all of this. I had seen the local police (from New Holland) pull up outside the auction a bit earlier, but they had never come inside where I was and apparently stayed parked up the street the whole time. When I had gone inside, just before I saw the mule falling off the trailer, one guy had gotten out of the car and was leaning up against it. So now while I'm sitting outside, the New Holland police car turns around up the street, and pulls up in right in front of the auction, about 20 feet away. The auction manager (or owner) trots out and sticks his head in the car for a few seconds, and chats with the cops. Then they all have a big laugh and the manager trots back inside with a big grin on his face. The cops never even got their asses out of the car, and then they drove away. That REALLY made me mad, because they should have gone after the trucker and the two Amish owners, since it was easy for the auctions to trace who they were. Actually, I think the auction owner should get arrested because he allows this kind of stuff to go on there. But obviously they are all best buddies. Later on I heard that the Humane Officer, Keith, wasn't going to do anything about arresting these guys. He was claiming that because the trucker lives out of state (in New York) that he can't do anything and he wouldn't give a reason for not going after the two Amish men. Then another month or two later I heard he was going to take the case to court and he had really good pictures of the broken legs, but that the Humane League of Lancaster County wasn't sure if they wanted to pursue it. Then later I heard that they DID try to take it to court at the local District Justice's Office, but that the District Justice (Judge Good) wouldn't hear the case. But I didn't find out why. However, I also heard that the Judge there does that kind of stuff all the time and is in on things with the New Holland auction, and that they are all old buddies so you can't get any convictions there, and that even on a good arrest he finds an excuse to let them all get off. These people committed CRIMES that day. There is no excuse for what they did besides GREED. I promised that mule that I would tell everybody what they did to him (and the other two horses, of course) so I am submitting this information to your group. The mule didn't have a name but people should remember him. He did nothing to deserve that horrible injury and be forced to endure it while driving around in a tractor trailer without food or water or help. His abuse is probably true for all of the poor animals who end up with the Amish. Please post this letter so everybody understands what really goes on behind the scenes at the NEW HOLLAND AUCTION and the MIDDLEBURG AUCTION and in Lancaster County. People need to know. I am also sending you a donation, please use it any way you see fit to help your cause. I am glad the Equine Abuse Fund is available to send money to, and that you care enough to help the animals that everyone else chooses to ignore. That is why they are allowed to be abused so badly. I know it is not a lot of money but I will continue to send a little bit every month to help, and will get my friends to do the same. This problem belongs to ALL of us.
The official registration and financial information of the Equine Protection Network, Inc, may be obtained from the PA Department of State by calling toll free within PA, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.