The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

November 23, 2013

Horse owners face 58 cruelty citations

EAST LACKAWANNOCK TOWNSHIP — Marvin Stickney has taken care of horses for as long as he can remember and said he will fight the animal-cruelty citations against him and bring his horses home.

Stickney, 63, and his partner, Nicole Rust, both of Mercer, were slapped with 29 citations each after Humane Society officials seized their horses in October when they found them “in deplorable and hazardous conditions.”

The Humane Society of Mercer County is asking for restitution for veterinarian bills, boarding and feeding the horses, as well as counseling and community service from the horse owners, Sandi Drabick, executive director of the society, said.

She said the amount of restitution is ongoing, increasing each day.

“Ownership of the animals comes first,” Drabick said.

Stickney said he has raised three of the horses, which are almost 30 years old, from the time they were born.

“The three are really important to me, but if I just ask for part of them back that’s like admitting I’m guilty,” Stickney said. “We won’t settle unless they’re all back.”

Humane Officer Tom Swartz said on Oct. 13 and 15 he found horse feces everywhere on the properties where the horses were housed on Wise and Symons roads, both in East Lackawannock Township. The 29 horses owned by Stickney and Rust had filthy water and moldy hay and grain, Swartz said.

Drabick said the horses that have been treated have had thousands of dollars in vet care already and believes this will prove that they were in dire need of care.

“They’re under constant veterinary care, each and every one of them,” Drabick said. “Their diets are being adjusted and they’re getting good quality hay and grain and a clean supply of water constantly.”

Stickney said he and Rust had all the horses under a veterinarian’s care when they were taken.

“A lot of the things they (the Humane Society) said are false – I don’t think we deserve it,” Stickney said. “The horses they took were under vet care. We just want to make it right.”

Stickney said he’s been taking care of horses for 40 years. He buys horses and saddle-trains them for other people who eventually buy the horses from him.

Circumstances were such that the horses didn’t get saddle-trained this summer and, since they have no inside facilities in which to train them, Stickney said he and Rust had to keep the horses over the winter and were going to train them in the spring.

Stickney said although having to hold horses over the winter rarely happens, they’ve never had any problems before.

In the wake of the accusations made by the Humane Society, the owner of the properties where the 29 horses were lodged will not renew the lease and has asked Stickney to move out.

“We’ve totally remodeled the barn at home to take care of the horses when they get back home,” Stickney said.

But right now, Stickney said he has no idea where the horses are or how they’re doing.

“They depend on me; I’m there every day,” Stickney said. “It’s like having 29 kids – they all have their own personalities, they’re all lovable and gentle.”

Although part of Stickney’s livelihood has been taken away, he said he and Rust are managing. He said the horses taken were all the horses he owned.

“I drive truck for a living,” Stickney said. “My vacation is in the barn or messing with the horses – that’s what I enjoy.”

Text Only
Local News
  • CIRT team in Jackson Center Man arrested after shooting standoff

    One Jackson Center man is recovering from a bullet wound, and the borough resident accused of shooting him sits in jail after a long night of drinking that state police say turned into a case of attempted homicide.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Speedway location City on track for new Speedway store

    Speedway is lining up its administrative and bureaucratic cones on plans for the gas station and convenience store chain to zoom into downtown Sharon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Guards, county OK deal

    County officials and guards at the Mercer County Jail have reached a tentative contract agreement that, if approved, halts the idea of privatizing operations at the facility.

    July 31, 2014

  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo