One of the dead horses that led to the investigation of the horse rescue.
The former director of the now defunct Serenity Horse Rescue in Ohio was found guilty of animal cruelty on Tuesday.
Shula Woodworth was convicted by a jury on three misdemeanor cruelty to animals charges for failing to provide enough food and water to a group of farm animals including 19 horses after she rescued them. The defendant shook her head as the verdict was read, tears streaming down her face.
Woodworth was found not guilty of two misdemeanor charges relating to the care of pigs and a Jersey calf.
Authorities seized more than 100 animals from Woodworth’s purported horse rescue in February 2013. Reports of dead horses spurred an investigation led by Miami County Humane Society Officer Sharon Karns. Horses, dogs, and various farm animals were removed from the property with the help of volunteers. For six horses it was too late. Their bodies were found littering the grounds or in shallow graves. It isn’t know what caused their deaths.
Serenity Horse Rescue, founded in 2007, was forced to close its doors after an inquiry by the state. Woodworth must redistribute the charity’s assets, according to an agreement with the state’s attorney general. The contract also prohibits Woodworth from serving any Ohio charity or soliciting donations in the future.
Woodworth faces a maximum penalty of 180 day jail sentence and a $750.00 fine for each misdemeanor cruelty charge. A date has not been scheduled for sentencing.