New York Woman Charged in 'Horse Rescue' Case

New York State Police have charged a former part-time Emergency Medical Technician at Finger Lakes Racetrack in connection with a scheme to defraud horse owners by telling them she would take their horses and find safe homes for them.

Instead of rescuing the horses, however, Susan Leininger, 37, allegedly took the horses to auctions where they could have been purchased by slaughterhouses, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

According to the newspaper, Leininger has been charged with a scheme to defraud in the first degree, which is a felony.

The newspaper reported that Leininger posted a flier at the racetrack offering to take aging or injured horses. "No horses will go for meat. All will find homes to suit their needs and ability," the flier stated.

Of the nine horses obtained by Leininger and sent to auction, seven have been found safe and one other is believed to be safe, the newspaper reported.

The alleged activities by Leininger were revealed when horse owners Valerie Morrison and Phyllis Shetron contacted the state police, raising questions about horses they had given the woman.

Morrison reportedly received a phone call from a horse rescue operation that had outbid a slaughterhouse at a Pennsylvania auction for Trigger Happy Jill, which had been given to Leininger for placement. Morrison and Shetron have since tracked down many of the horses by contacting companies and others in Pennsylvania and New York, according to the newspaper.