December 17, 2014

Elyria
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29°F
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Men charged after animals removed from farm

COURTESY FRIENDSHIP APL

Several horses were removed from a Grafton Twp. farm on Friday after they were reported to be living in poor conditions. COURTESY FRIENDSHIP APL

GRAFTON TWP. — Two men were charged with obstructing official business and animal cruelty after Lorain County sheriff’s deputies received a tip that animals were being housed in “horrible conditions.”

Deputies were requested at 36450 state Route 303 in Grafton Township by Humane Officer Denise Willis in reference to farm animals in poor living conditions.

By the time Willis arrived at the residence, some of the animals were “dead already and others were dying.”

According to the Lorain County auditor’s website, the 5.02-acre property is owned by Fish Funding LLC, based in Westlake. However, Mahmoud Abukhalil, 41, stated he was the homeowner and Richard
Newton, 49, was responsible for the care of the animals on the farm. Both men bonded out by 10:30 p.m. Friday. Newton will appear in Elyria Municipal Court on Monday.

No time was given as to when deputies were called to the property, but by the time authorities arrived, there were “animal feces piled up at least 4 feet tall in all the stalls” and there was also “liquid feces flowing” through the walkway of the barn.

“Deputies observed a horse that was very thin and appeared to be in very poor health. Deputies were advised by the vet (Dr. Matthew Klingman of the Wellington Veterinary Clinic) that this horse is very close to being euthanized due to the poor health it was in,” the report stated.

There were other horses on the premises, but deputies were told they had “just arrived a couple weeks ago.”

In addition to the horses, a sheep had to be euthanized by Klingman.

As of 10 p.m. Friday, Willis advised that the horses were being removed from the farm and taken to a safe haven.

Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7243 or mlinebrink@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MLinebrinkCT.