Marion neighbors band together to protect animals

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MARION, Ind. (Jan. 25, 2016) – Neighbors in Marion are outraged by a man who they say has been neglecting his horses and donkeys, and even threatening anyone who tried to help.

Brian Carpenter is one of many neighbors and residents concerned about the animals on a property along County Road 500 E in Marion.

“They’re supposed to be fed daily, have access to water daily and shelter,” said Carpenter who lives across the street from the property and animal owner. “There’s been days where they’ve gone weeks at a time without food.”

Like many other concerned neighbors, he’s been feeding the animals without permission and paying for the food out of his own pocket.

“People sneak over in the dark, so that way they’re not seen,” said Adam Bridges, another concerned neighbor feeding the animals. “They’re scared so they feed in the dark and then daylight comes and then there’s hay there.”

The neighbors are scared because they say the owner of the property threatened anyone who tries to help.

“Driving around your yard with a shotgun: that’s intimidation,” said Brenda Volmer, president of the Marion-Grant County Humane Society.

The authorities have been called, but record show that the owner of the property has never been charged with animal neglect. The Humane Society, along with the concerned neighbors, want to change the ordinance to include providing proper food, shelter and drinkable water.

“Several counties have changed that ordinance, and we’ve tried – the Humane Society and others – to change that ordinance,” said Carpenter. “We’ve run into a brick wall.”

When called, the sheriff’s office referred to the prosecutor’s office who said the investigation is ongoing. The Indiana Board of Animal Health said they’ve been monitoring the situation since  October 2014, and continue to do so every few months. However, according to evaluation documents the Board of Animal Health has never been allowed on the property.

“How do you see that they’re getting enough?,” said Volmer. “You might see a bale of hay thrown over there, but that doesn’t do anything for the ten animals that could be in the back field that aren’t getting anything.”

Neighbors say that even if they keep feeding the animals, the authorities aren’t stepping in where they should be.

“We just can’t get an answer and we’re striving,” said Carpenter. “We want an answer. I have two rescue companies willing to come and take the animals, but they can’t go on the property unless he allows it.”

Neighbors say they’ll continue to fight and do whatever it takes to keep these animals alive.