Pops the horse stands in his paddock at Crane Mountain Valley Horse Rescue.
The sentencing of Ticonderoga man Bruce Crammond for animal cruelty has been postponed to April 27.
Crammond, 64, of Old Chilson Road, Ticonderoga was convicted in February of misdemeanor injuring animals and failure to provide proper sustenance for an animal, a violation of the State Agriculture and Markets Law, aka Animal Cruelty, according to District Attorney Kristy Sprague.
The charges could carry a sentence of up to one year in jail and up to three years probation, according to Sprague. Along with probation the upcoming court hearing will determine how restitution will be paid for the care of the horse over the course of the two-year investigation.
On May 19, 2010, Ticonderoga Police went to Crammond’s property and found the more than 20-year-old horse with a three-inch-diameter bullet wound to the withers section in the back of its neck. The horse was about 800 pounds underweight. According to Sprague, Crammond has been charged with shooting the horse.
On April 4, Town Justice James O'Bryan postponed Crammond's sentencing until April 27. A restitution hearing will determine if Crammond should pay for the horse’s care during its time at Crane Mountain Valley Horse Rescue in Westport, where it has remained since being seized from Crammond by police.
O’Bryan said sentencing will follow the restitution hearing if no other issues arise in the case.
The case first broke in May of 2010, when the Belgian draft horse, now called Pops, was found by authorities, suffering from both the gunshot wound and starvation.
Crammond is represented by Attorney David Scaglione of Willsboro, while Essex County Assistant District Attorney Allison McGahay is handling to case for the District Attorney’s Office.
Nancy Van Weie, owner and operator of CMVHR, said that over the past two years the rescue has paid for Pops’ care.
“For the veterinary care, feed, dental care and all the things Pops has needed we have spent over $10,000 the last two years,” Van Weie said.
Van Weie said that at the time Pops was brought to CMVHR, they were told the expenses for the horse’s care would be taken care of by the Ticonderoga Police Department. The amount of restitution and if Crammond will be held responsible for the reimbursement will be decided on April 27.
Most of the costs have been associated with feeding the horse and helping it maintain a healthy weight, Van Weie said.
After two years, Pops has regained a healthy weight of 1,400 lbs. and the once- maggot-and-puss-encrusted gunshotwound is now a faint scar.
Permanent Home on the Horizon
For the past two years Pops has been property of the State of New York as part of the open animal cruelty investigation. Van Weie said they were unable to find someone to adopt Pops while the investigation remained open and his care and recovery have not been supported by the state. Van Weie hopes that when the case is closed Pops will finally find a permanent home.
“Since he has come here he has really opened up. He’s such a sweet, loving, beautiful boy who deserves a great home. Hopefully someone will want to give him that,” Van Weie said.