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Burlington Township woman gives up 13 horses in care complaint

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 7:03 a.m. CDT

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP – A woman relinquished 13 of 15 horses in her care after a state investigator issued a humane care violation against her, officials said.

Angela Beers, who was based at Flanery Farms, on the 47W200 block of Ramm Road, Burlington Township near Maple Park, was cited Oct. 15, three days after receiving a complaint of neglect of horses, said Jeff Squibb, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Beers could not be reached for comment. Gerry Ellerbee, owner of Flanery Farms, where Beers rented space to live and board her horses, said Beers and the horses are gone and he does not know where she went.

Beers got the horses from race tracks, Squibb said, and some were boarded and under her care. Beers is not licensed as a horse rescuer, he said.

“We received a complaint and there is an open investigation,” Squibb said. “It was ordered that all the horses be examined ... to have a vet come in and examine the animals. It could lead to either administrative charges or criminal charges, but because the investigation is ongoing, no determination has been made how best to proceed.”

Once the state’s investigation is complete, it could be forwarded to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office if investigators determine that criminal charges should be filed, he said.

“In my experience, it would have to be extenuating circumstances for a complaint to result in a felony charge,” Squibb said.

Squibb said Beers “was persuaded” to relinquish the horses Nov. 19 from the Flanery Farms facility. Ten were relinquished to a veterinarian who is treating them and will distribute them to horse rescue organizations, three were returned to a former owner and two remain in Beers’ possession.

A 16th horse that was dead is being necropsied at the University of Illinois to determine the cause of death, Squibb said.

The state’s investigator determined one of the horses had a body condition of two out of nine on the Henneke horse body condition scoring system, which determines how much fat a horse has on its body.

According to University of Maine Cooperative Extension website, a score of two means the horse is very thin, with the bones of its spine being prominent and the bones of its ribs, tailhead and pelvic bones standing out. A score of one is considered emaciated.

Squibb said the investigator determined the other horses scored between three and five on the same scale, with three being considered thin, four being moderately thin, and five being moderate.

“If the animals are in fine condition, they would not have been relinquished,” Squibb said.

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