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Judge orders owner of emaciated horse to forfeit it to city

Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- This city now owns a horse that nobody wanted.

The owner of a 25-year-old mare found emaciated in a Juneau horse stall on Dec. 14 was ordered by a District Court judge to forfeit the animal to the city.

Now the shelter that is caring for it on behalf of the city is trying to find a permanent pasture for the old horse. The horse has one eye and answers to the name of Cinnamon.

''She's improving so now we just need to find her a good home,'' said Wayne Lyons, director of the animal control unit of the Gastineau Humane Society. ''She's a real good girl. And any help we can get with her would be greatly appreciated.''

When the horse was found, it had not eaten in about three days and its stall was filled with manure, Lyons said.

Animal control officers impounded the mare when attempts to reach the owner failed. Though the horse looked neglected, it did not appear to have been abused, Lyons said.

The owner, Diane Fairbanks, later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and was placed on two years probation by District Judge Peter Froehlich.

She was also ordered to forfeit the horse, barred from owning any large animals and ordered to pay $486 in boarding costs as a condition of her probation.

Fairbanks' attorney would not comment on the case. But Fairbanks said in court papers that she tried to find shelter for the horse in Juneau but ''no one would take her, no one wanted her.''

Lyons would not disclose the location of the horse but said she is improving and is on a regular feeding schedule.

He also said the Humane Society is accepting feed donations and is still looking for someone to buy Cinnamon because there have been no firm offers made.

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Eds: Anyone wishing to make donations can call the Humane Society at (907) 789-0260.



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