Pennsylvania state police say a Harrisburg-area woman who owned a food service business starved her horses.
Janie L. Jeskey, 60, a food service truck operator and sometime thoroughbred horse breeder was charged with two counts of animal cruelty after police seized two malnourished horses on Dec. 19, according to the Patriot-News of Harrisburg.
Police said the horses, a mare and a gelding, were treated at Horseshoe Valley Equine Center in Annville, then transferred to Happy Tails Holistic Rescue Rehabilitation and Sanctuary in Paxinos.
An internet search shows Jeskey owned an antiques business on her property near Penn National race track that was destroyed by fire earlier this year.
The horses are expected to recover, police said.
Meanwhile, the operator of the Lancaster County auction where many unwanted thoroughbreds and hundreds of other horses are sold for slaughter, was hit with a $75,000 federal fine for engaging in fraudulant business practices.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation found David Kolb, president of New Holland Sales Stables, and Frank Fillipo, a cattle dealer from Norristown. were falsifying the selling price of livestock and pocketing the cash.
Under a consent agreement signed last month, Kolh agreed to pay the fine after an investigation showed the auction had manipulated the price of livestock it purchased for its customers by producing false market invoices showing inflated prices.
According to the complaint, the sale barn created 109 false auction market invoices to 21 different buyers during a three-month period in 2010, netting the auction an additional $15,345 in profits.
Under the scheme, New Holland falsely recorded purchases it had made under the name of Frank Fillippo and then indicated on invoices that Fillippo resold the cattle for a higher price.
Fillippo received $50 a week from New Holland for the use of his invoices to mark up the prices, the complaint said.
The USDA said "by utilizing false invoices to mark up livestock prices, Respondents New Holland and Fillippo engaged in unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practices" in violation of the 1921 Packer and Stockyards Act.
New Holland paid the fine and was placed on a two-year probation. It faces a six-month suspension of operations if it violates the terms of the settlement.
New Holland has been the subject of numerous undercover investigations by animal welfare groups for its handling of horses and other livestock. In 2007 the auction was found guilty of multiple counts of animal cruelty for failing to provide sustenance for or humanely destroying three "downed" sheep thrown on the "dead pile."