Farmer gives up horses after animal cruelty charges

EVERETT — An Everett-area farmer who has been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly neglecting his horses has relinquished ownership of the animals.

Philip J. Roeder, 73, had kept about a dozen horses on his property along E. Lowell-Larimer Road.

After a lengthy investigation and a number of neighbor complaints, Snohomish County animal-control officers seized one of the horses in May.

That horse is living at a rescue organization in Woodinville. It is gaining weight and its health is improving, officials said this week.

Roeder since has surrendered the rest of the horses to a private trainer in the Arlington area, said Vicki Lubrin, the county’s licensing and animal control services manager.

Roeder’s criminal trial is scheduled for November. He’s been charged with first-degree felony animal cruelty and second- degree animal cruelty.

Prosecutors in charging papers alleged that he starved his herd of horses and failed to provide them with proper care and shelter.

Roeder also was given a civil notice for violating county laws regarding animals, Lubrin said. A hearing examiner recently dismissed his appeal.

He was fined $50.

The trainer already has found a new home for one of the horses, Lubrin said. The others are undergoing training and doing well.

Animal-control officers are keeping an eye on Roeder’s property, Lubrin said.

No more horses have been seen there.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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