EPN Sanctuary Program
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Triple 8'sChestnut Gelding
Febraury 10, 2003
The EPN extends our appreciation to the PA State Police, PSP, the equine vet, the farrier, and to the volunteers who made this investigation possible, and whose dedication contributed to the successful prosecution of the offenders.
Triple 8's, a grade horse estimated to be over 25 years of age with a Henneke Body Score of 1.5 was offered for sale illegally at a PA horse auction in October 2002. Robert Keilman, Ebensburg, PA was found guilty after a court hearing and the EPN was awarded Triple 8's. District Justice Rudella found Keilman guilty after a 3 hour hearing and fined him $50.00 plus court costs of $175.00 and also ordered forfeiture of the horse to the EPN. In lieu of any restitution being ordered, Keilman agreed to waive any appeal.
Upon hearing the verdict, Keilman stated, "If I knew that all I had to do was sign the horse over and pay the fine, I could have sold three horses by now. The attorney cost me three times that!"
Although Triple 8's has just secured a monthly sponsor, we are still in desperate need of donations to cover the cost of his medical bills and daily care during the 4 months he was held as evidence in this criminal investigation. In addition the EPN incurred additional costs during the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of the owner by the PA State Police.
In September of 2002 the EPN was contacted regarding the sale of horses that were either lame or debilitated at the Parsonville Horse Auction in Clearfield County, PA. Lewis "Dink" Fisher operates the auction. The complainants had contacted the local SPCAs, the PA SPCA and the Department of Agriculture all to no avail.
The EPN worked with the complainant and the PA State Police, PSP, on the ensuing investigation at the Parsonville Horse Auction. On October 5, 2002 the EPN attended the Parsonville Horse Auction with the PA State Police. The PSP and the EPN both observed 2 horses that were less than a 3 on the Henneke Body Scoring Condition Chart. One horse was obviously lame behind and the other had diarrhea. Both horses were saddled and in the sale barn.
The owner of the chestnut gelding, later to be known as Triple 8's, offered the horse for sale to one of the PSP troopers for $350.00. The PSP Corporal testified in court on February 10, 2003 that Robert Keilman, the owner, stated that the reason he brought this horse to this sale instead of his own sale, was that he was embarrassed by the condition of the horse and that he wanted to, "make a quick buck."
The EPN's Christine Berry testified in court to Keilman's statements to her regarding the horse. Keilman stated that he thought it "was just terrible what these people do to these horses", and that, "he hated to see a horse in this condition." Keilman represented the horse as being in his late teens and that all you needed to do was take this horse home and feed him for a few months. The equine veterinarian and the equine dentist who examined the horse put his age at 25 plus. Ms. Berry also testified to the condition of the horse and the Henneke Body Scoring Condition Chart.
When informed of the law by the PSP though, Keilman refused to identify where he had purchased the horse and who the people were who put the horse in this condition. Keilman stated several times that he was, "not getting in anybody's business." Keilman also stated that he was a member of the humane society.
One has to wonder if Keilman truly believes the above, then why not state who was responsible for starving this horse? In court Keilman testified that he knew the horse was very thin and that all the horse needed was some "tender loving care". Obviously Keilman did not choose to be the person to provide that tender loving care.
After the sentencing Keilman stated that, "Shit if I'd known that, I would have just given you the horse."
You committed a crime.
We learned at the Horse World Expo in Harrisburg, PA from Triple 8's former owners, that his real name is Chipofftherock by Rocket Wrangler. Rocket Wrangler is the sire of the legendary quarter horse, Dash For Cash!
The last his previous owner knew he was in a good home. Needless to say she was dismayed to learn of his fate, but relieved to know he is now safe for the rest of his life from abuse, neglect or slaughter. Remember, only you can protect your horse from the same fate that befell Triple 8's.
The EPN appreciates the support of the Easy Riders Club for helping to raise funds to care for Triple 8's! Thank you Louise Mentch for teaching our young people compassion and responsibility towards our beloved horses.
The EPN also appreciates the committment made by Triple 8's monthly sponsor and his volunteer caretakers, without your help this would not be possible.
Upon arrival at the evidence holding facility Triple 8's was lethargic and depressed for several days and his caretaker had concerns regarding his ability to recover from his emaciated condition at his age. The first time the caretaker heard Triple 8's nicker at the sound of the barn door opening in the morning, she knew that he had turned the corner. As his strength returned, 8's became more demanding at feeding time and started to show some spunk when being led to his paddock!
As of April 2003 Triple 8's is still gaining weight, but is permanently lame and will remain in the EPN Sanctuary Program for the remainder of his life protected from neglect, abuse and slaughter.
UpdateTriple 8's was humanely euthanised via lethal injection in 2004 due to liver failure. When he began to lose weight blood tests were run to determine why he was losing weight. The results showed his liver was failing and the decision was made to have him humanely euthanised.
Thank you to all who sent donations to help cover the costs of his care. Unfortunatley the EPN never received enough donations to cover the cost of his care. His foster care providers donated their time, their facility, and their resources to care for a horse that came to them at the end of his life. Those who benefited from him during his younger days were nowhere to be found. He was simply used up and discarded like so much trash.
Thank you Terri, Pat, Barbara, Robert, and the Easy Riders for your support of Triple 8's.
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