May 27, 2018
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Man pleads not guilty in horse deaths

By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

WISCASSET, Maine — A Rockland man pleaded not guilty Monday in Lincoln County Superior Court to 11 charges of animal abuse.

Donald L. Genthner, 51, of Rockland owned seven horses that died at a Waldoboro farm where he had kept them, according to police. Lab results sent out by Waldoboro Police Department showed that at least two of the horses died of malnutrition.

The property owner of the farm where the horses were kept called police and an animal control officer last winter to report possible abuse, a police report indicated. Police charged Genthner with four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and seven counts of cruelty to animals. Genthner was arrested Jan. 12 and released from Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset the same day on $10,000 unsecured bond.

According to police, the charges stemmed from “the death of three horses and the severe neglect and maltreatment of eight horses.” There were four additional horses that died after Genthner was charged, but police have not determined if their deaths were caused by any abuse or neglect. According to a press release from the Waldoboro Police Department, three of the four additional horses died from malnutrition and another from a broken leg that never received medical attention.

Police sent bone marrow samples from two of the dead horses on the property to be tested for fat content to determine whether the animals had died from malnutrition. A healthy horse should have a bone marrow fat content of 66 to 90 percent, Waldoboro Police Chief Bill Labombarde said. Necropsy testing indicated that bone marrow fat content from the two dead horses was in the single digits.

Police were releasing no further details because the investigation is continuing.

Genthner’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 26.

Aggravated cruelty to animals is a Class C crime carrying a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to five years in prison. Cruelty to animals is a Class D crime carrying a maximum fine of $2,000 and less than one year in prison.

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