Pops the horse stands in his paddock at Crane Mountain Valley Horse Rescue.
A restitution hearing for a Ticonderoga man found guilty of animal abuse was postponed until June 29, to allow the town justice time to further examine evidence.
Bruce Crammond, 64, of Racetrack Road, Ticonderoga was convicted in Ticonderoga Town Court of misdemeanor injuring animals and failure to provide proper sustenance for an animal, a violation of Section 353 of the State Agriculture and Markets Law, aka Animal Cruelty in February.
On June 12, Town Justice James O'Bryan said he should be able to make a decision about the pending restitution, determine Crammond’s sentence for animal cruelty charges, and determine ownership of the horse at the June 29 court date.
“We all want this case resolved as soon as possible but obviously I must see all evidence the case has to offer,” O’Bryan said.
Assistant District Attorney Michelle Bowen submitted to the court $10,158.16 in expenses documented by Crane Mountain Valley Horse Rescue (CMVHR) to care for the horse, named Pops, from the time he was brought to their rescue on May 21, 2010 to present.
Expenses included the cost of medical supplies, vaccinations, monthly boarding fees, and the large amount of food the belgian draft horse needed to reestablish a healthy weight of 1,300 lbs.
Nancy Van Wie, co-founder of the rescue, said she deducted $635 of expenses paid through private donations allocated for the horse and did not include the regular $40 a day charge for administering medical treatment usually charged at the rescue. Van Wie and co-founder Eddie Mrozik of CMVHR also attended daily for four months to a 4-inch diameter wound to the horse sustained to its withers before being brought to CMVHR.
Crammond’s attorney David Scaglione said Crammond should not be responsible for reimbursement for Pops’ care to the rescue due to delays in court.
“This bill is going to be enormous as a result of the length of this case,” Scaglione said.
Scaglione also requested O’Bryan consider deducting the monetary value of the almost 25-year-old Belgian Draft Cross horse from the settlement if the horse is not returned to Crammond’s custody.
Assistant District Attorney, Michelle Bowen, said as a non-for-profit organization, Crane Mountain farm should not be responsible for the cost of the horse as a result of Crammond’s proven neglect.
“They are only asking for out of pocket expenses,” Bowen said. “At the end of the day the Crane Mountain farm is due what they’ve put out, show me any case where someone found guilty of a crime should benefit financially.”
The charges could carry a sentence of up to one year in jail and up to three years probation, according to District Attorney Kristy Sprague.
O’Bryan said sentencing will follow the restitution hearing baring no other issues in the case.
Crammond said no matter the outcome of the case he and his family plan on appealing and hope to have his horse returned to the farm.
“I’ve been discriminated against all across the board throughout this case,” Crammond said. “We did not know there was anything wrong with him and the Ti police screwed up by taking this animal before we could treat him.”
Crammond continues to defend his innocence in the case and said his horse was not shot or starved.