Woman charged in horse deaths
By Sarah Smith
A small bale of hay was left 100 feet from where two horses died this spring at Dorset Corner, but it was too far from where they’d been tied to nourish the animals.
Monday, Minden Ann Crenshaw, 28, of Hubbard County, was charged with three counts of animal cruelty, one for depriving the horses of food and water, one for abandonment and the third for “willfully committing an act of cruelty.”
Crenshaw was jailed in the Hubbard County Correctional Center as of press time Tuesday morning.
Judge Robert Tiffany set bail at $25,000 unconditional and $3,000 on the conditions that Crenshaw remains law-abiding and that she not possess any animals or contact any of the witnesses or the property owner. Her next court appearance is May 12 in Park Rapids. Theoretically, she could post $300 in bail to be released.
“I don’t like animal cruelty,” said landowner Charlie Kellner, who knew nothing about the starving animals until notified by authorities April 19 when a neighbor found and reported them.
“This is a bad deal,” Kellner said of the heavily wooded area where the horses died. He said he has not been on the Dorset Corner property in more than a year.
According to the criminal complaint, Crenshaw lived on adjacent property with her mother until April.
“Sheriff Cory Aukes contacted Crenshaw by phone and Crenshaw admitted that she owned the animals and tied them up to the tree because her mother would not let her have horses,” the complaint stated.
“Crenshaw said she obtained the horses in January or February and took care of them until she moved out of her mother’s house on April 1. After moving, Crenshaw said she did not have any transportation to get back to care for the horses,” the complaint stated.
Her main concern in court Monday morning was her children. She said she had two children “that I’m worried about,” but did not specify where they were.
Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne said he does not contemplate charging the mother, who was apparently unaware the horses were a few hundred feet from her home.
One horse managed to break free of its leash but died about 50 feet away. The second collapsed in place, still tied to a tree. Both were emaciated.
Dearstyne said in court it was an “extremely egregious” case of animal cruelty.
Crenshaw has previously been convicted of disorderly conduct in 2010 in Hubbard County.