Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Carol Harmon horses seized

Rural Valley, PA

Armstrong County

April 21, 2006  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
    9 horses, 1 pony Convicted  

Carol Harmon, of Rural Valley, will serve jail time for her cruel treatment of horses at her so-called “rescue.” Magisterial District Judge Samuel R. Goldstrohm ruled that Harmon is to be incarcerated for a period of five days per docket which translates to 70 days. Harmon is also not allowed to possess a horse for two years.

This verdict comes a little over three months after PSPCA Clarion County Officer Reba McDonald, in a joint effort with the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, seized nine PMU mares from the Mystic Valley Horse Rescue in Rural Valley, PA on April 21.

PMU mares are female horses that are impregnated and kept solely for the production of their urine, which is then sold to drug companies to create hormone replacement therapy drugs. This “rescue” was anything but a safe and healthy environment. Painfully thin horses were exposed to the cold elements while others were in poorly ventilated stalls.

The mares stood in eight-inches of mud and manure without food and water. The windows and vents were covered to hide the cruelty inside. Owner Carol Harmon was cited on 14 counts of cruelty including: unsanitary conditions, lack of veterinary care, shelter, food and water.

Being herded from one area to another for the majority of their lives without kindness or compassion has caused the horses to distrust humans. As a result, they have been very difficult to handle. They require special care because they defensively bite, kick and strike at anyone who comes near them. Ongoing special handling and socialization has the horses on the road to rehabilitation.

One mare gave birth only three days after the seizure. Reba McDonald and volunteers fought relentlessly to keep the baby alive because of its weakened condition due to the severe malnutrition of the mother. After round-the-clock attention for over a month, the little filly, now named Nadia, made it through! Nadia means hope, which is what the beautiful chestnut and white.

Appaloosa has given McDonald and the volunteers. Harmon offered little in the way of a defense at the hearing. A veterinarian Harmon brought to court made statements that actually supported our side. At the conclusion of the proceedings Harmon turned and fired her lawyer. The nine horses and one baby continue their rehabilitation in the care of the PSPCA and the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.

We applaud Magisterial District Judge Samuel R. Goldstrohm’s verdict and we hope this sends a strong message to those who would maliciously and knowingly abuse or neglect the animals in their care.

Reference:  PSPCA