Serenity Horse Rescue in Ohio is closing its doors for good.
The rescue’s founder, Shula Woodworth, must redistribute the charity’s assets, according to an agreement with the state’s attorney general. Just over $6,000, a horse trailer, boat, and assorted horse accessories will be redistributed to other horse rescues, including Happy Trails Animal Rescue in Ravenna.
The contract also bars Woodworth from serving any Ohio charity in the future or soliciting donations.
According to court documents, the state’s inquiry found “Shula Woodworth breached her fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, to properly manage accounts, to comply with the law, to not waste charitable assets, and to act in the best interest of the charity, resulting in loss and other damages to the charitable beneficiaries of Serenity Horse Rescue.”
Serenity Horse Rescue was founded in 2007 to “promote equine welfare, rescue abused, neglected, or unwanted equines and educate the public on proper equine care.”
The rescue’s mission came to a halt when reports of dead horses led officials to investigate the horse rescue last year. Officials seized more than 150 animals from Woodworth’s rented property in February 2013. Included were 21 horses and various farm animals including alpacas, goats, rabbits, and pigs. Six horses were found dead on the property. It is not known how the equines died since the case is active.
Woodworth pleaded not-guilty to five charges of animal cruelty. She is scheduled to be back in court later this month to change her plea, according to the prosecutor’s office.