BETHEL — A Greenwood woman is charged with cruelty to animals after leaving two horses in a closed, metal barn without water or food, according to Deputy Michael Parshall of the Oxford County Sheriff's Office.
Angel L. Kist, 32, of Greenwood, was arrested Thursday afternoon on a charge of cruelty to animals. She made bail on $1,500 unsecured bond. State animal welfare agents took the horses.
Parshall said he was called to 364 Vernon St. in Bethel on Thursday to assist Animal Control Officer Susan Milligan. In an e-mail, Parshall said he was dispatched for peace-keeping. Parshall said he was told that Kist, the owner of the horses, could be confrontational.
Milligan said neighbors had complained about the horses several times over the past two months. She said animal welfare agents from the Maine Department of Agriculture had already taken two horses from Kist.
The property owner's attorney, Jarrod Crockett of Bethel, told Parshall two horses had been abandoned. Parshall said he arrived before Milligan and found bags of trash and open human food containers in the barn. He said the temperature was estimated at between 90 and 100 degrees in the barn.
Crockett said his client, Larry Smith, said he thought Kist had removed the two horses from the barn the day before, but that evidently she had sneaked them back in later.
While waiting for Milligan to arrive, Parshall said Crockett gave the horses food and water. Crockett credited one of Smith's neighbors with bringing hay for the horses, which Crockett said looked malnourished with their ribs showing.
Soon after, Kist arrived, Parshall said. Kist “began to rant and rave at Mrs. Milligan and I, even going so far as calling the Maine State Police on us,” Parshall said.
“I had directed Ms. Kist to remain calm, as I told her that this was now an animal abuse crime scene,” he said.
Parshall said he found probable cause to arrest Kist on a charge of animal cruelty and called for backup, anticipating Kist would resist arrest. Sgt. Timothy Ontengco of the Sheriff's Office arrived and Kist was arrested without incident and taken to the Oxford County Jail in Paris.
According to Parshall, state animal welfare agents obtained a search warrant for the barn and took the two horses.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a comment about Kist and incorrectly said that complaints about the barn had come from the property owner. The complaints came from neighbors. It was a reporting error and had been corrected.