A Nesconset woman has been charged with animal cruelty after her nine horses were found emaciated and in “deplorable” conditions at a boarding facility in Bohemia, the Suffolk County SPCA said Saturday.
On Friday, Vanessa Costello, 29, of 25 Chivalry Lane, was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty for failure to provide proper sustenance including veterinary care, Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said.
Costello is scheduled to appear in First District Court in Central Islip on Aug. 31.
Gross said the horses were being boarded at a facility on Blake Avenue in Bohemia but that their care was Costello’s responsibility.
“Some are full maintenance facilities and in some you rent stalls,” Gross said. He said Costello was a renter. “She was therefore absolutely responsible — like someone who was renting a home. She is responsible, and it was sheer neglect.”
Gross said SPCA detectives charged Costello, who was given field appearance tickets, after they visited the facility Friday and found the horses malnourished and in a “horrible, horrible situation.”
SPCA authorities had received a complaint about the horses’ care and launched an investigation, Gross said.
“You could see by their feet and body conditions,” Gross said. “It was severe and total negligence — the conditions were deplorable. They were not groomed, they lacked veterinary care and there was feces piled up.”
Gross said the horses were removed from the facility and were being cared for at a local stable. He asked anyone interested in contributing toward feed to contact Neptune Feed at 631-369-0965, or write to them at 4195 Middle Country Rd. Calverton.
Anyone interested in donating for veterinary care can send donations to the Suffolk County SPCA, P.O. Box 6100, Hauppauge, NY 11788-0099, Gross said. He asked that donors specify that their contributions are for these specific horses.
Gross said Costello faces up to a year in jail on each of the nine counts and a fine of $1,000 for each count.
Costello could not immediately be reached for comment.