CLEARFIELD – A couple is facing animal abuse charges for the death of a horse in January, announced District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. today.
Shaw identified the defendants as Joseph Clyde Daniel Dush, 64, and Brenda Marie Dush, 49, of Kilmer Road, DuBois.
Today Officer Gilbert Barker of the Sandy Township police charged the couple with aggravated cruelty to animals, F3, and neglect of animals, M3.
According to the criminal complaints, on Jan. 22, police received information about a dead horse at a Kilmer Road residence. When officers arrived, they saw a horse lying on the ground near a large, round hay bale.
Upon further examination, the officers determined the horse was dead. Officers observed that the ground was wet, and there was standing water around the horse.
The hay bale had twine around it and was not opened so that the horse could feed. A tether was located and attached to a nearby tree, police said.
It was observed that the fence was in disrepair, and the animal was subsequently tethered to a tree. There also wasn’t any structure capable of providing shelter for the horse from the wind or other elements.
Police observed what appeared to be ribs and the spine of the horse, according to the complaint.
The horse’s remains were transported to the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System at Penn State University for examination. The necropsy determined that death was due to “emaciation consistent with malnutrition and starvation.”
The couple has appeared before Magisterial District Judge Patrick Ford for arraignment. Bail was set at $10,000 ROR.
Ford also imposed a bail condition preventing the couple from owning any horses. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 6.
“Animal abuse is unacceptable,” Shaw said, adding that “every effort will be made to prosecute those who commit these terrible crimes.”