Learn the real facts of Palmer case

Published 9:00 am Friday, June 15, 2007

Ok, here we go again.

First, my apologies to everyone who is tired of seeing my name on this page of The Democrat. But I find that, once again, I must attempt to clear that name.

Recently, there was an article in the Democrat about the Humane Society having seized neglected and starving horses and goats from Mt. Airy Plantation Road. Then, yet another chapter in the ongoing saga of Debbie Palmer’s horse neglect was published a week or so later. Now, I am being identified as “that Palmer woman who moved the starving horses to her place in Natchez to hide them, but was caught again.”

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Here are the facts:

Yes, I have horses and numerous goats on Mount Airy Plantation Road. But farther down that road Mr. Seyfarth has a hunting camp with pasture, which he planned to plant and cut for hay. Gene and Vicky Ridgeway asked to board their 13 horses there until their new home out of state was complete. Mr. Seyfarth said that would be OK, but they must be responsible for the feeding and care of the horses and only for 5 months. The Ridgeways agreed, but soon became slack in bringing large hay-bales, and never provided horsefeed, even though two mares were pregnant and one had a foal. Mr. Seyfarth’s pasture was soon reduced to bare dirt. He repeatedly warned the Ridgeways of their horses’ weight loss and poor condition, but they were frequently left for days without even hay.

After the Ridgeways let their five months boarding run into seven months, and their horses’ condition worsened, Mr. Seyfarth warned them that they must either move them or feed them or he would notify the Humane Society. He even, with my permission and at his own expense, fenced my back pasture to let the poor creatures graze. At that point Vicky accused him of trying to steal her horses, and demanded that they be put back on the bare dirt field.

Unable to tolerate the sight of the starving horses any longer, Mr. Seyfarth did call the humane society and sheriff’s office, and the worst horses were immediately seized and taken to a local vet clinic; one may survive.

The next situation involves the ongoing saga of Debbie Palmer, the woman in Vidalia who has been convicted of cruelty and neglect of horses, and ordered to own no more than 10 horses. The article states that she was being charged with neglect of 2 horses kept at her residence and Sheriff Randy Maxwell was quoted in what sounded like (finally!) a committment to hold her responsible. However, he refused to become involved, refused to seize them and left them to languish another 48 hours, claiming “fears of litigation.” Asst. DA Brad Burget then obtained an order from the judge to seize the horses, but only two were allowed to be taken; the worst was left there! (One of the seized horses has subsequently died.)

So please, do not waste any more of your time calling my home or office to inquire if I am starving my horses and goats. If you visit my farm, you will find plump horses and spoiled goats; don’t come unless your pockets are full of ginger snaps and raisins!

Instead, use your time and telephones to inquire:

1) Why should Sheriff Maxwell have to fear litigation for enforcing the law? And why bother to make such a noble-sounding speech for the press when he won’t honor his word or his oath of office?

2) Why is Ms. Palmer still in possession of all these horses that are still dropping dead of neglect and starvation, when the judge’s terms of her sentence were clearly spelled out? Who enforces a judicial order in Concordia Parish?

3) Why is the DA’s office unable to obtain a conviction for a crime that is committed in the open, witnessed by numerous people, and repeated over and over, especially since they spent so much of your money last year to bring in experts from the Louisiana Brand Commission to help prosecute the case?

4) Why does the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society appear to have the full cooperation of the legal system in Adams County, while Concordia Animal Welfare Society must apparently fight the system as well as the alleged perpetrators? How does NACHS rescue animals in less than three days, while the situation in Concordia Parish has dragged for over three years?

5) Finally, contact CAWS and NACHS and pledge your personal and financial support in their efforts to end animal cruelty and neglect in our otherwise lovely area.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Dr. Barbara Lynn Palmer

Adams County resident