Horse owner charged with animal cruelty
SNOHOMISH - A Snohomish man accused of neglecting his horses on his Lowell-Larimer Road property is expected to submit his plea in court later this week.
Horse trader Phil Roeder, 72, was charged in Snohomish County Superior Court with two counts of animal cruelty in the first and second degree for allegedly starving one thoroughbred horse and letting another go without adequate food and shelter.
In April, Snohomish County Animal Control found all 13 of his horses were in poor condition, with three horses in the poorest condition possible before death.
His arraignment last week was continued to Friday, July 12. Roeder was declined a public attorney and requested a continuance so he could get an attorney.
In the meantime, Roeder is court-ordered not to have any horses. The horses were transferred to a boarding facility in north Snohomish County.
Community members have been concerned for the sickly thin horses living on Roeder’s property in the 8400 block of Lowell-Larimer Road for more than five years.
Since 2008, Roeder racked up 22 animal control complaints of animal neglect. At least one horse died on his property in that time frame.
Roeder repeatedly did not follow Snohomish County Animal Control orders to make sure the horses received adequate food and medical attention, court documents say. Instead, he continued to feed the horses “a minimal amount of poor quality moldy hay,” court documents say.
The Sultan animal rescue group Pasado’s Safe Haven and other groups say animal control should have taken the horses away sooner.
“They witnessed and recorded the Roeder case for at least five years without taking action,” the Monroe nonprofit Equine Aid Horse and Donkey Rescue wrote on its Facebook page.
In an article by Seattle Examiner, Roeder told the online publication last month that he was getting too old and sick to care for the horses. He collected the hay himself, he told the Examiner. Things became even more difficult after he had open heart surgery.
Roeder has no past criminal history, court documents say.
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