Thors is charged with nine felony counts of animal cruelty to Standardbreds in New Jersey.
Monica Thors, a horse rescuer from New Jersey who crippled Standardbred horses to the point of death, has been indicted by a grand jury on nine felony counts of animal cruelty. The case will go to criminal trial, where Thors will have the opportunity to enter a plea. If convicted, the maximum sentence for one third-degree crime is five years; one fourth-degree crime carries a maximum of 18 months. Thors overfed horses to the point of founder, then used nippers and power tools to remove large sections of hoof in the name of “curing” their laminitis-induced lameness.
If you are not familiar with the Monica Thors case, please see Horse Nation’s coverage: “No Foot, No Horse: The Extremely Weird Story of Monica Thors” and “Update on the Monica Thors Abuse Case: 7 Horses Rescued, 2 Later Euthanized”. Here’s a summary timeline of the case so far.
August 2013: According to the New Jersey SPCA, the organization began investigating Thors and reports of animal cruelty. Several social media figures and groups have been sharing these reports of cruelty in an attempt to urge enforcement to act faster for the sake of the animals.
Late 2014: The “Stop Monica Thors” Facebook group (now no longer in existence) has gained traction and thousands of followers who have been pressuring the NJ SPCA for action. Photos are circulating social media of Thors “treating” her horses, who are photographed lying immobile in stalls or suspended from slings in the ceiling, all bandaged to the knee. Videos show Thors and employees pushing/pulling terribly lame horses around the barn.
November 24, 2014: A CBS news team based out of Philadelphia breaks the story with an on-site investigation on television and online, including video of horses unable to stand and an interview with Thors. (This video is embedded in the “No Foot, No Horse” article.)
December 2, 2014: Seven horses and a goat are seized from Monica Thors. Two horses must be euthanized 24 hours later due to the extent of their injuries inflicted by Thors. Reportedly, three other horses had passed away or were euthanized on Thors’ farm in the past year. Thors is charged with inflicting unnecessary cruelty upon a living creature and one count of failure to provide necessary care. These are considered disorderly persons charges and could result in a $2000 fine up to 12 months in jail.
February 2, 2015: Additional criminal complaints are filed against Thors after two of the seized horses are euthanized. The horses who have been euthanized since seizure in December are Princess Grey, Aspiration, According to Hoyle and According to Prince. These criminal charges must be brought before a grand jury in order to secure an indictment.
June 29, 2015: A grand jury indicts Thors on nine felony counts of animal cruelty. (The case actually came before grand jury last week, but news was first reported on June 29.)
We hope that Thors receives the justice she deserves, and continue to hope for the recovery of the remaining seized animals.