Nicholasville Man Faces Animal Cruelty Complaints

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)-  Paul Schember is accused of abandoning two horses on a property that was not his, and of keeping the horses on a trailer for more than 24 hours. Schember says the accusations are not true.

He says he has heard the people who have complained are just trying to take his horses for themselves, but those people say they just want to make sure the horses are healthy, and they say Kentucky law is getting in the way.

The officers at Jessamine County Animal Care and Control know 70-year-old Paul Schember well.

“It was like every other day at least two three times a week we were picking up his canines for running at large,” Deputy Director Frank Ruggiero said.

Ruggiero says he has filed four criminal complaints against Schember: two for the dogs and two more for a gelding and a filly he owns.

One of those complaints is for keeping the horses parked in a trailer  in front of Schember’s home for more than 24 hours.  The other is for abandoning horses on private property.

Ruggiero says he got a call in December from the owners of the farm across the street, saying they woke up to two horses they did not own. “Horse squatting” is what Kathy Gonzalez and Jenny Hasson call it. They have also filed a complaint against Schember for neglecting the filly and gelding since September.

“The conditions kept getting worse. They were in about three inches of manure,” Hasson said.

Hasson and Gonzales say Schember dumped the horses in a barn without permission, food, or water.

“A gelding who was slightly overweight in September is now severely underweight. You can see all of his ribs,” Hasson said.

Hasson says she took a photo of the gelding in a field in December, but since then she has lost track of the horses. She thinks they are in a field in Bourbon County.

“The same grain that American Pharoah is eating, my horses are eating,” Schember said.

He says his horses are indeed in Bourbon County, doing well. As for why the horses ended up on private property, Schember says he got permission from someone who turned out not to be the owner. All other accusations, Schember calls lies.

“I grew up in a farm in Michigan. We always took care of our animals. We came down here. I love horses. I take care of them. I love dogs. I take care of them, and you can see they are fat as pigs,” Schember said.

Hasson and Gonzalez say Kentucky law is not strong enough when it comes to animal abuse. They would like to see the charge upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony. They also say people under investigation for animal abuse can move their animals without alerting anyone, which makes it hard to carry out an investigation.

Categories: Local News, News

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