Chris Takacs claims Earlene Harris used her authority to sell four of the horses rescued from a farm on Jack Turner Way on Feb. 27. Takacs met Tuesday with a victim’s advocate at the Garrard County Attorney’s Office to fill out an affidavit, a sworn statement explaining his recollection of events.
In addition, volunteers discovered skeletal remains of horses, and two dying fillies they had to euthanize. Takacs said it was the worst case his rescue has had.
Takacs said six of the horses were taken to the rescue’s satellite site in the county, and Harris agreed to return to the farm the next day for the remaining seven horses.
“There were four waiting to be trailered and three still on the loose,” Takacs said. “And Earlene told me they would recover the horses the next day.”
Takacs said he told Harris if she had places to adopt the horses out to, she would need to wait for him to approve the location and process any necessary paperwork. He said Harris agreed.
But Takacs said Harris moved four of the horses without his knowledge, and he is unaware of their whereabouts now. The three loose horses were rounded up by the rescue several days later.
Harris also sent an email to Buckland requesting the horses be turned over to Garrard County.
“Before we could act on our complaint of neglect, your rescue stepped in and had (the owner) sign over his horses,” Harris said in the email. “We feel that the rescue acted hastily and interfered with an animal neglect complaint ... At this time, I am requesting the release of all the removed horses to Garrard County Animal Control.”
Takacs said Harris demanded the horses with “no just cause, no due process, no warrant, simply using her title as justification.”
Takacs said he finds it contradictory that Harris continuously claims the rescue interfered with an ongoing investigation. Part of his affidavit against Harris involves animal neglect and cruelty, stating there are witnesses who will attest to the fact Harris knew about the farm’s conditions at least six months prior to these events.
But Harris said animal control was made aware of the situation the same day as Buckland.
Takacs’ allegations also include theft and theft by deception.
Takacs said one of his volunteers, Tiffany Cole, received a phone call from a person claiming to have seen the horses on animal control’s Facebook page. A woman posted the photo claiming she had adopted the horses.
“(Harris) signed them over to someone. That’s a sale. That’s a bill of sale,” Takacs said, adding he does not know if any monetary exchange was made for the horses.
Takacs said he confronted Harris for what he says is Class D felony theft.
“She said ‘you gave them to me to get rid of,’ and I said ‘pending the paperwork,’” he recalled, saying he made it clear to Harris he would need paperwork and photos before the horses changed hands.
Takacs said in addition to theft, Harris “sold our property without even waiting the allotted time required by Garrard County for disposal of seized property.”
Harris said it is not true she sold the horses, but rather they are in foster care. She said she is “confused” as to ownership of the horses and has been waiting for paperwork from Buckland to fill out.
“It is still an active investigation,” she said. “There are four horses still under the care of Garrard County. They’re all cared for.”
Harris also said she checks in regularly with the farm’s owner to inform him of the horses’ conditions.
The last time she spoke with him was Tuesday afternoon. He has not been charged in the matter.
A complaint officer at the Garrard County Attorney’s Office said the office faxed the affidavit to the attorney general’s office in Frankfort requesting someone be appointed to review the case.