Woman faces over 60 charges for neglected horse farm
The woman who owns a farm, where over 25 dead horses were found in March, is formally charged with animal abuse and neglect.
On May 21, the Grand Jury for Wicomico County indicted Barbara Pilchard with 16 felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and 48 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse and neglect.
Pilchard had her first appearance in the Circuit Court for Wicomico County on Friday, June 8. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by both the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office and the Wicomico County Animal Control into allegations of animal abuse and neglect received on March 16, 2018.
Officials found 98 live horses on the Pilchard’s Cherry Walk Road farm in unlivable conditions. They say, based on the allegations, evidence was collected and the surviving horses were seized. The horses were surrendered, and are in the care and custody of multiple rescue organizations.
The Wicomico County Humane Society Executive Director Aaron Balsamo released the following statement, “Since removal of the horses, their overall condition has improved. They are at various rescue locations where they are receiving all appropriate and necessary veterinary care. The Wicomico County Humane Society continues to monitor their progress and appreciates all the community’s support and concern.”
The Office of the State’s Attorney says it takes all allegations of animal neglect and abuse seriously. "We ask for the public’s patience as the case proceeds through the criminal justice system. An indictment is an allegation and all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The Office of State’s Attorney is, of course, limited as to any further statements it can make related to a matter while it is pending trial."
Wicomico County State's Attorney Jamie Dykes tells 47 ABC "There are conditions that she not have any animals in her care, custody, control and that she have no contact with any of the horses that were seized and surrendered."
The Wicomico County State's Attorney is not providing a mugshot of Pilchard at this time.