Corsica Man Pleads Guilty to 5 Counts of Animal Cruelty for Severely Neglecting Horses

STRATTANVILLE, Pa. – A Corsica man who severely neglected several horses at his Clarion Township farm has pleaded guilty.

Ralph E. Smail, 65, pleaded guilty to five counts of summary Cruelty to Animals yesterday before Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn.

Smail was fined the minimum of $50 per count, plus court costs and fees for a total of $546.50. Under Pennsylvania law, each summary animal cruelty conviction allows for a maximum fine of $750 and/or up to 90 days in jail.

Clarion County Sherrif Rex Munsee filed the charges on May 5 after five of the severely neglected horses had to be euthanized.

Bev Dee of Bright Futures Farm received a call from the Clarion County Sheriff’s office in early May asking for assistance in rescuing 11 horses that had been locked inside a “dark barn and neglected for so long their hooves were over a foot long and curling like elves shoes,” according to Dee.

Dee went to the barn hoping to save all 11 horses, but quickly realized five of them were too long gone to be saved.

“Five were so severely neglected that there was no hope of saving them,” Dee said. “This is the hardest part of what we do. Eleven horses lived in squalor for at least three years, admitted by their previous owner. We found poor quality hay just two feet out of reach of some of them. They had no water.”

The six surviving horses continue to recover in the care of Bright Futures Farm.

To contact Bright Futures Farm to make a donation or to offer help, e-mail the Farm at Donations, which are tax-deductible, can also be made via PayPal to or mail a check to 238 Old Franklin Pike, Cochranton, Pa. 16314.


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