all horses and ponies may lead a
full and productive life, free from pain and abuse."
of FAX sent to one of HorseAid's attorneys
detailing the Pennington Paso Fino case timeline
Dear Esq. Keith,
Sorry for the delay in getting this to you, but we are currently involved "hands on" in close to 70 severe equine abuse cases in the U.S., and another 30 or so in other countries.
The following is a timeline concerning just one of these cases, the Chanute (KS) Paso abuse case: Animal Control of The City of Chanute (Kansas) had called HorseAid on three previous occasions to ask for our help with a long standing horse neglect/abuse case involving a Paso Fino horse breeder by the name of Garry W. Pennington.
Animal Control and the City were intimidated by the horses' owner, Garry Pennington, and Mr. Pennington's attorney in prior attempts to have the matter resolved. Finally, in July 1999 they (The City) acted on our recommendations (and videotape and photographic evidence) and seized the herd of horses.
7/26/99: City took possession of the 12 Pasos and under court order, gave them over to HorseAid to care for (at HorseAid's expense one would assume - except for one Paso that was in such bad shape he had to go directly to a vet - when the City found out what the vet expenses were, one of the city council members commented that they "should have shot the horse instead". That horse is now on his way to a full recovery).
7/31/99: HorseAid volunteer Annie Prather built pens to accommodate the extra horses (at HorseAid's expense) Other Pasos were corralled at the homes of other HorseAid volunteers; Becky Burns, and Sandy Witaker (also at HorseAid's expense).
8/01/99: A colt was born to one of the Paso mares on Annie's property, and under her care.
8/23/99: Additional Pasos were moved to Annie's property by Animal Control -- a mare and foal, and a pregnant mare.
9/6/99: Annie was continually being followed by Larry Pennington (Garry Pennington's brother) and two unidentified persons -- she reported it to the police.
9-17-99: The pregnant mare foaled her colt on Annie's property, and under her care.
9-21-99: HorseAid volunteer Cindy Hesse's dog was shot and killed by a person or persons unknown. She filed a police report. (Cindy does not have any of the Chanute Pasos, but she has helped extensively with the rescue.) Just prior to her dog being shot and killed (about an hour prior - adjusted for time zones) one of the online slanderers who had previously made threats of physical violence against HorseAid volunteers, posted on an Internet message board that "he was sorry for HorseAid's recent loss." Since he did not specifically mention what the "loss" was, we don't quite know what action to take. There was no other HorseAid "loss" except Cindy's dog in the time frame of a few weeks before or a few weeks after his post.
9/26/99: Additional Pasos were moved to Annie's property by Animal Control -- a mare and filly.
10/99: City of Chanute decided not to prosecute, under threat of lawsuits by Mr. Pennington. Mr. Pennington's friend and hunting buddy, the editor of The Chanute Tribune, has been publishing "anti-HorseAid" editorials in his paper lately. HorseAid has not been allowed to make any rebuttals. The horses are still with HorseAid, but the threat that they will be taken back and returned to Mr. Pennington is a daily concern. HorseAid volunteers have not only spent many thousands of dollars in vet bills and feed on behalf of HorseAid, but have come to love the horses and don't want to see them returned to the abusive situation. When the Pasos came to us, most of them were several hundred pounds underweight, and some had leg injuries. Esq. Roland Vincent recommended that we refuse to give back the horses under the Kansas lien laws. Mr. Giobbé discounted that idea as unworkable, and dangerous to the local HorseAid volunteers.
Epilog: Although we have not yet notified Mr. Giobbé of these threats, he has received several threats of violence on our main voice mail line ("I am going to kill that Jew wop, and that Jew shyster Hockemeier just like I killed that dog"), Mr. Giobbé is of Italian decent, but not Jewish, I do not know of Esq. Hockemeier's heritage.
We have also received threats of violence on our various voice mail systems directed at our volunteers, and a few stating that "HorseAid should keep its whore lesbian bitches out of Chanute, and let them work the streets of Hollywood instead." (As you know, Mr. Giobbé works in the motion picture business, hence the "Hollywood" reference.) This is what our volunteers have to put up with these days (and they actually left the two messages quoted above on our main office VM system, if you can believe that).
Regardless, Mr. Giobbé has asked that we all keep at it, and continues to pay for all the expenses incurred in this rescue. The included confidential FAX concerns a stallion that was part of the rescue. A vet hired by Garry Pennington stated that the "horse was just fine, just a hard keeper". The horse was about half its normal body weight, and about a 2 on the Henneke condition scale. I have overnighted you hard copy pictures of this stallion via FedEx, as the scanned copies do not show the true extent of the deplorable condition he was in when rescued.
The future of these horses is still undecided, but based on the pressure Pennington's attorney has placed on the City, it would seem that he (Pennington) will again be allowed to abuse and accuse at will.
It is my personal and considered opinion (and that of Mr. Giobbé's as well) that the City of Chanute is following a very perilous course if they cave in to his legal buffoonery, as Mr. Pennington sees everything as a test of will (Mr. Giobbé attributes this mind set as the main reason the Pasos were kept in the condition they were in), and once the City loses that test of will, we both believe that Mr. Pennington will go against the City of Chanute (and possible HorseAid) legally.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
J. Coppa, Paralegal,