A pair of Chicago area women are facing misdemeanor animal cruelty charges alleging they mistreated at least six of the 14 horses they kept on a property near Crystal Lake.
Jamie A. Koy, 37, of the 1500 block of Miner Street, Des Plaines, was charged Monday with four counts of cruel treatment to animals, and Shannon Riley, 21, of the 1400 block of South State Street, Chicago, faces one count of the same charge stemming from an investigation that dates back to April.
McHenry County Sheriff's deputies arrested the women Monday after finding 14 horses malnourished and poorly cared for in the 6100 block of East Hillside Drive. Six of the horses were removed by McHenry County Animal Control and transported to the Hooved Animal Humane Society in Woodstock for treatment.
"The reason those horses were removed is because they were in critical condition," said Debra Quackenbush, spokeswoman for the McHenry County Department of Health. "We're hoping there will be a good outcome for them."
Besides malnutrition, the horses, all eight years old or younger, suffered from various injuries, sheriff's police said. The remaining eight horses were left on the site, but will be checked on again Wednesday by a veterinarian, Quackenbush said. Sheriff's police said Koy owned nine of the horses involved, and Riley owned the other five.
The charges stem from a four-month investigation by the animal control department, the sheriff's office and the McHenry County State's Attorney into allegations that initially surfaced when Koy and Riley kept their horses at a rented barn in Woodstock. "Their landlord came upon the situation and called the sheriff's office when he saw the condition of the horses," Quackenbush said.
The women later moved the horses from the Woodstock barn to the property near Crystal Lake, where the investigation culminated Monday.
"It's not uncommon for people who have a lot of animals and don't take real good care of them to move around a lot," Quackenbush said.
Both women were arrested Monday and later posted $100 cash to go free while awaiting trial. Information about their next court date was not available. If found guilty of the Class A misdemeanor, each woman could face up to a year in jail and fines of $2,500.