HAMPTONBURGH – A Plattekill woman was sentenced to three years probation after her guilty plea in Hamptonburgh Town Court to five counts of animal cruelty for her neglect of over 30 horses on property she had been renting.
Connie Dirago, 59, was also sentenced on January 28 to make $14,000 in
restitution to an animal rescue agency that cared for the horses while
the case was pending, and she was ordered to have no personal or professional
contact with horses for three years.
The charges stemmed from an investigation of the Hamptonburgh horse farm Dirago began renting in March 2014. She had brought more than 30 horses to the property. Police received information that many of the animals were underfed and malnourished and that three had died since she moved them there.
On March 28, the five horses involved in the charges were removed and transported to a horse rescue sanctuary after they were found to be emaciated and near death. The other horses were also removed from the property and placed on farms in Orange and Ulster counties.
“Domesticated animals require and deserve care from the people that choose to keep them, and it’s not fair to those animals that their owners keep them, but subject them to conditions where they aren’t given adequate food, water, or veterinary care, or where they’re otherwise subjected to cruelty,” said Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler. “I’m gratified to see that some measure of justice has been served on behalf of the horses involved in this case, and that the horses will be properly cared for in the future.”