Traverse City Record-Eagle

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May 15, 2013

Suspects arraigned in horse case

TRAVERSE CITY — Antrim County authorities filed a civil action to seek legal forfeiture of 18 horses seized in an animal cruelty investigation.

Prosecutor Charles Koop said civil notice was filed against horse owners Timothy Eugene Allen, 56, and Tracey Lee Buzzell, 50, of Ellsworth, after authorities confiscated 18 horses from their farm May 9.

Antrim County authorities allege the horses were severely malnourished.

Koop said the civil action is required by statute in animal neglect cases.

“We will have a hearing, and the court determines if the horses are in need of care,” Koop said. “It will be determined what the reasonable care would cost, and the owners have an opportunity within 72 hours to pay for that reasonable care or the horses are forfeited.”

Buzzell and Allen were arraigned Tuesday in 86th District Court before Judge Michael Stepka on charges of felony animal abandonment-cruelty. Both were freed on personal recognizance bonds.

A preliminary hearing is set for May 28. A Charlevoix attorney who represents Buzzell and Allen could not immediately be reached for comment.

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