Some neglected horses rescued - others not so lucky

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

Because of the compassion felt for helpless animals, several horses were rescued after two Napoleon sisters contacted the Ripley County Sheriff’s Department as well as animal rights organizations People Assisting Animals in Need (PAAIN) and the Indiana Horse Rescue on Wednesday, March 17.

The horses became severely malnourished after their owners Brian and Christina Grider, 7610 N. County Road 900W near Osgood, moved away and apparently abandoned them in November of 2009.

Deputy Steve Sullivan was called to the residence on Tuesday, March 16 when sisters Geneen Ostendorf and Gayla Crowell reported a dead horse in the field. According to Ostendorf, she was tipped off by a friend.

Upon further investigation, Deputy Sullivan and Ostendorf found a mare that had died while trying to foal. According to Ostendorf, a yearling horse was found next to the fence and had been covered up with a tarp.
The remaining animals, a stud horse, two yearlings, two donkeys, and three mares believed to be impregnated, were seized by the sheriff’s department in accordance with IC35-46-3-7 Cruelty to an Animal after an initial on-site evaluation by a Certified Equine Abuse Investigator.

According to Indiana Horse Rescue Representative Teresa Voltz, the situation was brought to her attention two weeks prior to the incident with the situation continuing to be monitored by volunteers.

“There was evidence of sporadic feeding,” said Chief Deputy David Pippin. He said the owners indicated there was a caretaker to feed the horses.

The owners were first contacted in December of 2009 regarding the condition of several dogs on the property. After several unsuccessful attempts by the sheriff’s department for a voluntary surrender, seven adult dogs and three puppies were removed.

One dog needed to be euthanised due to severe neglect. The remaining dogs were nursed back to health and have been successfully placed in good homes due to the efforts of PAAIN and its volunteers.

According to Deputy Pippin, the horses will be taken to an undisclosed location to be evaluated by a veterinarian. After recovery, the horses will be available for adoption through Indiana Horse Rescue.

The Ripley County Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate with Deputy Sullivan and Deputy Pippin as lead investigators. Criminal charges are pending due to review by the Ripley County Prosecutor’s office.
“Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident across Ripley County,” said Ostendorf. Anyone with information of similar neglect, abandonment, or cruelty to animals are urged to contact the Ripley County Sheriff at 812-689-5555 or email at Witnesses can remain anonymous if they wish.

For more information on Indiana Horse Rescue, visit

Pictured above Teresa Voltz, Indiana Horse Rescue, observes a yearling and mare that died from apparent neglect. BOTTOM, Geneen Ostendorf helps to corral the surviving animals which will be taken to an undisclosed location for rehabilitation and possible adoption.