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Letter: The end of a nightmare

Posted 11/17/20

To the editor:

Which office do I go to get my reputation back? That was the famous quote of President Reagan’s secretary of labor, Ray Donovan, when charges against him were dismissed. I …

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Letter: The end of a nightmare


To the editor:

Which office do I go to get my reputation back? That was the famous quote of President Reagan’s secretary of labor, Ray Donovan, when charges against him were dismissed. I know how he felt.

For a year, I have been praying for the day when justice would prevail. It did finally last week when a charge against me was dismissed.

As an attorney, former legislator, and mom, I know that sometimes bad things happen to good people. What happened to me was sickening.

Last October, I was charged with mistreatment of one of my horses, based on the fact that “Reina,” who was elderly, between 25-30 years old (around 90 in human years), significantly underweight, and had no teeth, gained weight after leaving my farm over four months from May to August. I contend that Reina would have gained weight in the warmer weather and especially as she was given antibiotics, that my veterinarian did not do. If she died perhaps, they be responsible for that?

In addition to being elderly, Reina also suffered from Cushing’s Disease, a debilitating disease that causes weight loss, as does old age. Of the 20 or so horses that I have owned, Reina was my favorite. I went through extraordinary efforts to keep her healthy and alive, including feeding her more than double what I fed my other horses with a special mix of alfalfa/timothy cube hay with beet pulp and warm water (she had no teeth so couldn’t eat hay like normal horses). This took extra care/time and expenses also.

I provided veterinary records including a letter from the veterinarian that had current knowledge of my feeding and care regiment to the RI-ASPCA, run by a non-vet, ex-convict. I also provided testimony from boarders and friends who knew how I treated my horses, as well as receipts for thousands of dollars in feed, supplements, and hay. 

It made no sense that I would intentionally starve (mistreatment charge) only one horse, my favorite one, that was old and sick, in front of my boarders, son, friends and neighbors, especially when I had the right to euthanize — preposterous! In fact, I was advised to euthanize but could not do it. That was what happened. I asked the vet who recommended a person send a picture so she knows how skinny and how much care she needed.

The photo of Reina that the ASPCA and news posted on social media caused outrage from people who did not understand the circumstances of Reina’s medical condition, and the extra care that I was giving her. 

Simply put, I love my animals and do my very best to keep them healthy. They never missed a meal, nor anything they needed.

Soon after the media coverage and resulting nasty comments on social media, I took my cat to my veterinarian who mentioned that a client asked her if she saw the coverage of the alleged “horse mistreatment?” The vet’s answer was “people who mistreat animals do not use vets!”

The charge was hurtful to me, my family, especially my young son, who is also an animal lover, and my friends. Thanks to all those who saw through this and supported me.

While no one is perfect, I have built an honorable reputation including community service and professions, including a decade in law enforcement, two decades in the legal profession, as a former State legislator, and as a doting mother and care giver many animals that I’ve adopted and also fostered. I am also spiritual —respectful of all living souls.

As an attorney, I am proud to say that I am the only attorney in the state who has attended the Equine Law Conference in Kentucky to help in equine law — part of my legal practice.

The charges damaged my reputation and will be hard to undo. I hope this article will help to restore it.

Amy Rice

438 Bramans Lane


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