09/21/2016 3:25PM

Agencies seek title on Borells' horses


Two Kentucky agencies have joined together in a lawsuit seeking title to 43 horses that were allegedly abandoned by Charles and Maria Borell, the father and daughter who have been indicted on animal cruelty charges related to the alleged abandonment.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Mercer County Fiscal Court, seeking a ruling from the Mercer Circuit Court to grant the fiscal court with clear title to the horses. The suit also asks the circuit court to order the Borells to pay the costs incurred by state agencies and other businesses or individuals who have contributed to the care of the horses since they were declared abandoned by the state on June 9.

Charles Borell, a Syracuse, N.Y., resident, was arrested at the farm where the horses were found on June 29. He was charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty. Maria Borell, his daughter, was also charged, but she is not believed to be in Kentucky, and state officials have said that they will not seek extradition because the charges are misdemeanors.

According to the suit, a deputy state veterinarian arrived at the farm on June 9 and could not find a caregiver for the horses. The veterinarian, Dr. Bradley Keough, also concluded that the horses had not been provided with adequate water and feed, leading Keough to declare the horse abandoned.

“Upon Dr. Keough’s determination of inadequate care and declaration of abandonment, the Borells relinquished any and all ownership or other interests they have have one held in the horses,” the suit states, citing a statute that declares that “abandonment shall constitute the relinquishment of all rights and claims by the owner of the animal.”

The suit says that the Borells “persist in purporting to claim ownership or other interests in the horses.” Charles Borell has entered a not guilty plea in answer to the 43 animal-cruelty charges, with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Sept. 29.