Written by PETA
Yes! Ernie Paragallo, the jerk thoroughbred breeder who starved more than 175 horses on his farm in New York's Hudson Valley, has been sentenced to up to two years in prison and fined $30,000. In addition, he must pay restitution to humane groups that cared for the horses after they were seized. Of course, the fine is just a drop in the (oat) bucket for a former Goldman Sachs exec who netted more than $20 million during the 20 years that he bred and raced horses, but that jail time's gotta hurt.
"Your moral compass is out of kilter," Judge George Pulver Jr. told Paragallo as he handed down the maximum sentence. "Your sense of integrity, your code of conduct, your perception of right and wrong was perhaps formed by your days on either mean streets or Wall Street."
Coming in the midst of the Triple Crown season, the sentencing serves as a timely reminder to stay away from racetracks and the cruelty to horses that's associated with them. Here's hoping that Paragallo gets nothing but bread and water during his stay in the pokey—and even that's more than his horses got.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Full disclosure: I am a sucker for horses. Just watching them run makes me cry. Seriously, it does. That video clip that was shown in Amélie, in which an excited horse leaps over a pasture fence and joins passing Tour de France cyclists? I cry just thinking about it—shoot, I'm crying right now!
So you can imagine my reaction to the news that Thoroughbred breeder and owner Ernie Paragallo has been charged with cruelty to animals after 177 horses were allegedly found starving, suffering from skin infections and untreated injuries, and crawling with lice and worms on his New York state farm. The raid on the farm came shortly after news leaked out that four mares who formerly belonged to Paragallo had been rescued from a "kill pen," bound for the slaughterhouse. PETA called for his prosecution soon after this hit the news.
This isn't the first time that Paragallo has run into trouble. In 2007, three starving horses were rescued from his farm and spent a month recovering at an equine hospital. In 2005, his owner's license was revoked over his failure to pay a vet bill.
In my opinion, hangin's too good for Paragallo. This man has raked in more than $20 million in winnings over the years—and he can't spend even a fraction of that wealth on care for the horses who earned it for him?
Fortunately, the cruelty charges, coupled with the slaughterhouse boondoggle, seem to have been enough to convince the New York State Racing Commission to bar Paragallo from the state's tracks. This means that Paragallo will almost certainly be unable to enter a horse in the state's "big show"—the Belmont Stakes—in June.
Boo-hoo. (That's sarcasm—I'm not really crying this time.)
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