Tuesday, May 18, 2010, Equine Rescue Resource Inc. was in attendance at the Green County Court as Judge Pulver sentenced Ernest Paragallo to the maximum jail term, 2 years, and the maximum fine, $33,000. Immediately following sentencing, Mr. Paragallo was handcuffed and removed from the court room to begin his incarceration. We have been advised Centerbrook Farm has been shut down and Paragallo has no more horses.
Click here to read a detailed article:
Book Thrown At Paragallo
Click here to read the Judge’s sentencing:
Sentencing of Ernest Paragallo by Honorable George J. Pulver Jr.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010, Greene County District Attorney Terry Wilhelm called in the morning to announce that Ernie Paragallo has been convicted of 33 counts of animal cruelty, for failing to provide food water and sustenance for the horses kept at Centerbrook Farm in Climax, NY.
Equine Rescue Resource Inc. is grateful to all who helped bring Paragallo to justice.
Please take a moment and write 2 letters, one to the District Attorney, and one to the Judge. Politely say THANK YOU for sentencing Ernest Paragallo to the maximum jail time (2 years), maximum fines ($33,000), restitution to ALL rescue agencies involved.
The Honorable George J. Pulver, Jr.
Greene County Courthouse
80 Woodland Avenue
Catskill, NY 12414
Terry J. Wilhelm, Esq.
411 Main Street
Catskill, NY 12414
Good Will Hunter, a stunted yearling colt, pictured within 24 hours of departure from Centerbrook Farm. The second photo, is taken 8 months later. It’s amazing what a little food and love can do for a horse.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Jennifer Pederson was in touch with Equine Rescue Resource Inc. on Friday April 3, 2009. At that time, she expressed concerns regarding the care provided to her two horses housed at Centerbrook Farm, a mare named Hunters Circle, and Hunters Circle’s 2008 foal. She also requested that we pick up the horses on her behalf. In an effort to be thorough, the NYS Police was called that evening, and we were advised there was no ongoing cruelty investigation and picking up horses would not be an issue. On Saturday, April 4, 2009, volunteers from the organization traveled to Climax New York, unprepared for what they walked in to. New York State Police and veterinarians were called by us to assist the horses, but neither the police nor the vets could assist at that time, on the farm. In an effort to help the 170+ horses left behind in less than ideal conditions, the two horses from Pederson were transported to the New York State Police Catskills Barracks, where a formal complaint was filed. Based on that complaint, New York State Police and the Columbia Greene County SPCA were able to obtain a search and seizure warrant, which led to the arrest and conviction of thoroughbred breeder Ernest Paragallo.
During the course of the case, Equine Rescue Resource Inc. provided evidence and testified before the grand jury and before Judge Pulver during the bench trial. We were also present during sentencing, and will be on hand during the restitution hearing.
This case has had a tremendous impact on the thoroughbred industry, and measures to better protect horses have been put in place.
New York will not tolerate the slaughter of their racehorses; any owners or trainers found to have sold horses for slaughter will lose their racing priveleges. Thoroughbred breeding farms will now undergo inspections to ensure adequate care.
As for the two horses removed from Centerbrook Farm on April 4, 2009, they were surrendered to Equine Rescue Resource Inc. Hunters Circle and Good Will Hunter have both received the care they so desperately needed and for the most part have recovered from their ordeal.