A convicted animal abuser is under investigation after 40 horses were seized from a Virginia property, officials say.
A search warrant executed at Robin Vince’s Nottoway County farm revealed the remains of four horses and a dog. The horses and 15 dogs were removed from the property after being examined by veterinarians.
The search stemmed from a seizure earlier in the week at Rhiannan Vitiello’s Charles City County property, according to officials. Vitiello is Vince’s daughter. Both women have been convicted of animal abuse.
Vince was convicted of animal cruelty in 2014. Court documents state she failed to contact a veterinarian, or her customer, after the boarder’s horse severely injured its leg. Vince stated she self-treated the horse with prescription medications not prescribed for the horse. A veterinarian testified she did so incorrectly and the horse needed emergency veterinary intervention.
Vince was found guilty of misdemeanor animal cruelty. She was sentenced to 12 months jail suspended. Vince appealed her conviction, but it was affirmed by the higher court.
Vitiello was convicted of four counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty in 2012. She was sentenced to four years in jail with all but one month suspended. Vitiello was also banned from owning caring for, training, raising, and breeding horses through the fall of 2014.
The horses have been placed at area horse rescues including Central Virginia Horse Rescue, Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue, and White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue. The dogs are being cared for at Angels of Assisi.