Charges filed against horse owners

Wanda English Burnett

Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel has filed charges of Abandonment or Neglect of Vertebrate Animals against Brian L. Grider and Christina D. Grider after horses were found dead and nearly starved on the couple’s property near Osgood last month.

The charges read Brian and Christina Grider had a vertebrate animal in custody and recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally abandoned or neglected the animal. They left nine horses unattended without food.
On March 16 Ripley County Communications received a call that there were dead horses at 7610 North County Road 900 West, Osgood.

According to information from the Probable Cause Affidavit when Deputy Steve Sullivan arrived he observed a blue tarp lying next to a fence at the above mentioned property. Under the tarp was a horse that appeared to have been dead for about two weeks.

Another horse found was a mare that was in the process of giving birth when she and the foal both died. “This mare had been in obvious distress because she had laid on her right side and worked her feet and legs back and forth so much that she had dug a trench for her front and back legs to lay in, approximately six to seven inches deep,” the probable cause affidavit reads.

Sullivan, who has 28 years plus experience as a horse owner, said the animals he observed were undernourished and in very poor health.

Court documents revealed that the Griders admitted to a law enforcement officer in December of 2009 that the horses and donkeys belonged to them.

According to Ripley Publishing Co. files, two Napoleon sisters, Geneen Ostendorf and Gayla Crowell, were responsible for calling about the dead horses in the field. Ostendorf said she was tipped off by a friend.

The Indiana Horse Rescue organization as well as People Assisting Animals in Need (PAAIN) were involved in the rescue on March 17 where several horses were taken from the Osgood property.
The charges against the Griders are Class A Misdemeanors.