The seizure of 10 emaciated horses by authorities from the Virginia farm of Anne Shumate was lawful, according to a judge. Shumate is charged with 27 counts of animal cruelty.
Judge Edward Carpenter made his ruling after hearing three-hours of testimony Wednesday. Veterinarians detailed the various ailments the horses suffered including starvation, a lack of dental and hoof treatments, and skin issues. Each horse’s health was deemed critical leading to their removal.
When authorities began their animal cruelty investigation last month, Shumate surrendered 71 horses, 28 cats and 7 dogs. Horses were found dead on the property. Shumate’s house was a health hazard littered with animal feces and dead animals. She was living in her vehicle, according to her attorney.
Law enforcement seized the additional 10 horses when she would not turn them over. A group of 18 horses, 2 donkeys, a bull and cats remain at Shumate’s farm. Her sister has power of attorney and is responsible for the animal’s care while Shumate is out on bond.
Shumate’s defense attorney clarified that his client’s name has been legally changed from Anne Goland to Anne Shumate. Thomas Purcell also advised the Somerset horse farm is called Glen Valley Farm, not Peaceable Farm. Peaceable Farm refers to the horse rescue she ran with her ex-husband, Anthony Goland. The 501(c)(3) collected more than $1.1 million in 2013 and donations were made after July 2014, according to documents obtained by Rate My Horse PRO.
Goland did not appear at the hearing. His attorney Timothy Heaphy released a statement the day prior stating the pair was married for five-years before divorcing in 2014. Goland and the other volunteer board members resigned prior to late June 2014. Goland hasn’t seen Shumate since, but reportedly provided “significant funds” to his ex-wife as a part of their divorce.
More than a dozen horse advocates from the equestrian community piled into the court room to show their support. Judge Carpenter said, “I don’t think there’s any question there was a failure to provide adequate care.”
Purcell said his client might appeal the judge’s decision.
The next civil hearing is scheduled for November 25.