trainer held on cruelty charges
August 4, 2006
On Friday, August 4th,
Deborah Allison, 52, was arrested by the Will County Sheriff’s
Department and charged with animal cruelty after authorities stated a dead
horse and three severely malnourished horses were found on her property.
The arrest charges stunned the community of trainers who live near Balmoral Park.
A driver for a company that processes
livestock carcasses was called Friday to dispose of a horse’s body at Allison’s
acreage on Danne Road, but he refused to take the Standard bred horse – an
American breed used mostly in harness racing – because it was so badly rotted
that it fell apart when he tried to move it. He then called the authorities.
Will County Sheriff’s Detective Dan Jungles stated that the horse
had been dead at least three days. The horses were in a pasture with no grass
and only ‘bad hay’ that offered no nutritional value. Will County Animal
Control brought in veterinarian Kate McBurney to assess the remaining three Standard bred
horses. Dr. McBurney stated the horses were extremely malnourished
– you could see all the backbones, ribs and hips. Weight that could not be
Allison’s arrest comes about a year after her Danne Road home burned down. Carol Longo, a Crete Standard bred trainer who won an
industry association humanity award last year for her kind treatment of horses
observed Allison working with horses and was shocked by the
news. She stated that she could not believe it was anything deliberate because
Allison seemed to care very much for the animals.
Longo also stated that she had
overheard Allison saying that a groundwater pump was broken
on her land and that she had to use a tank truck to get water to the horses.
The Herald News