Justice for Dozens of Horses Reportedly Found Dead and Malnourished

Target: Aaron Balsamo, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Wicomico County, Maryland

Goal: Ensure the owners of the farm where dozens of horses were reportedly found dead face justice.

In Wicomico County, Maryland, more than two dozen horses were reportedly found dead and many were found malnourished in the back of a farm. Desperate, the horses had apparently eaten the aluminum siding and fiberglass insulation on the side of the house, in addition to breaking the glass doors at the back of the house in search of food. Shocked, the county sheriff and the director of the Humane Society of Wicomico County are planning to take the horses to an undisclosed location, after having fed them hay and grain donated by local stores.

One horrible scene the sheriff recounts is a mare giving birth to a stillborn calf after it had gotten stuck in the birth canal. While the owner, Barbara Pilchard, was reportedly cooperative in helping rescue the remaining horses, she allegedly claimed that it was acceptable to let the horses decay in the fields. Authorities disagreed, asserting that infectious diseases could seep into the groundwater, which is why they are disposing of the bodies in in a lined landfill to keep groundwater safe.

Although one neighbor stated that she never saw an emaciated horse on the property before, the horses reportedly remained in the back of the farm where they were difficult to see. In addition, Pilchard was charged with 100 counts of animal neglect in 1995, when 200 cats were removed from her property. There had also been a complaint about the property about animal neglect, but there was no sufficient evidence to move the case forward.

These animals were reportedly forced to live in terrible conditions for who knows how long. They were apparently forced to eat inedible materials because they were so desperate for food. Sign the petition below to urge the executive director of the Humane Society of Wicomico County, Maryland, to help ensure that these property owners can never keep animals again, if found guilty of neglect.


Dear Mr. Balsamo,

The atrocious scenes you witnessed at the Pilchard farm, where dozens of horses were reportedly found dead or malnourished, is unimaginable. There is no acceptable explanation for any person who cares for animals to subject them to conditions under which they are forced to eat aluminum siding and fiberglass insulation. Mares should not be neglected when they are giving birth, resulting in a tragic stillbirth. With the Humane Society, the local police department, and volunteers working together, these horses will be relocated somewhere they will be taken care of.

Clayton and Barbara Pilchard should not be able to keep animals again, if found guilty of neglect. In 1995, Barbara Pilchard was charged with 100 counts of animal neglect after 200 cats were removed from the same property. There had been a complaint against them before, but there was not enough evidence to move the case along. It seems clear that the Pilchards are not fit to keep animals; they are allegedly not able to keep them safe and fed. I hope that you keep animal welfare the first priority and prevent these two individuals from inflicting harm on any other animals in the future, should they be found responsible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Robert Jones

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  1. Since these people had a neglect case with the cats earlier, they should never be able to keep any animals ever again. Please do your job and protect the rights of the animals instead of these stupid cruel people!

  2. The first abuse case should have been the last. People shouldn’t be able to own animals after being deemed abusive before. The laws need to change in favor of the animals.

  3. Agree all comments

  4. They let this dirty woman own animals again after she was cruel to so many before!

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