Accused of nine counts of animal cruelty, Monica Thors pleaded not guilty this week in New Jersey.
The Monica Thors animal cruelty case has rocked the horse world for months, and the latest chapter came to light this week. Thors plead not guilty to nine counts of animal cruelty: four third-degree and five fourth-degree. Thors made headlines in late November of 2014 when news and social medias picked up on what was happening in her New Jersey barn, where she believed she was “curing” foundered horses by removing large parts of their hooves. Four horses either died in her care or were euthanized after seizure with their injuries teemed too severe.
Thors will next appear in court on December 11. Horse Nation will continue to cover this story.
For readers new to the Thors case, here is a 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 the week prior, but news was first reported on June 29.)
Week of October 19, 2015: Thors pleads not guilty to the nine felony counts of animal cruelty.
Horse Nation’s prior Monica Thors coverage:
- No Foot, No Horse: The Extremely Weird Story of Monica Thors (December 2, 2014)
- Update on the Monica Thors Abuse Case: 7 Horses Rescued, 2 Later Euthanized (December 4, 2014)
- Monica Thors Indicted For Animal Cruelty (June 30, 2015)