LANGDON — The woman who operated a horse sanctuary and who is currently charged with animal cruelty is now being charged with altering a state document to cover up the condition of one of her horses, according to court records.
Olexandra Beck, 63, who operated the Saint Francis Farm Sanctuary and Rescue from her Holden Hill Road property, was indicted on Wednesday by the grand jury convened in the Sullivan Superior Court in Newport on one count of obstructing government administration.
According to the indictment, Beck marked out language on a New Hampshire State Veterinarian certificate of inspection for one of her horses that she was “adopting” to an out-of-state resident. The veterinarian originally wrote on the certificate: “Animal presented on this certificate originated from a rescuer where he was received in poor bodily condition 2.5/9. He is being relocated to another farm to continue refeeding program.”
Veterinarians use the Henneke scale that scores a horse’s condition on a scale of 1 to 9. The horse in question had a 2.5 score out of nine. According to the Henneke scale, a score of 2 means that the horse would appear “emaciated; slight tissue cover over bones; vertebrae, ribs, tail head, and bones of withers, shoulder, and neck are visible.”
Beck allegedly made this section of the certificate illegible, covering up the horse’s true condition, according to the indictment.
The horse in question was in poor condition when it arrived at its new home in Missouri, according to the police report on file. The people who adopted the horse from Beck complained to authorities, and that’s when New Hampshire Department of Agriculture officials learned that the certificate on Becks’s horse had been altered.
Beck is already facing four counts animal cruelty after dozens of horses were removed from her property last year and early this year. The investigation started when the state learned of the altered certificate in August of 2018.
The certificate issue resulted in a visit by Department of Agriculture staff in September of 2018. Beck keeps her rescue animals on four different properties in Langdon. The state inspectors found many horses in poor condition due to a severe lack of food and water, according to the police report. Many other horses were in need of medical attention as well, the report states.
A subsequent inspection in November found the animals in poor shape, with some acting lethargic and showing signs of continued malnutrition, according to the report. Police sought a court order and on Nov. 21 nine of the horse were seized, police report.
A December follow-up inspection by Department of Agriculture veterinarians found continued poor conditions for the horses, including lack of water and not enough food, according to the report. In January, Beck let police know she would not allow another inspection of her properties or animals without a court order, the report states.
That’s when officials sought an order to take the remaining 17 horses from Beck, according to the report. On Jan. 25, law enforcement and Department of Agriculture officials seized 17 horses and removed them from Beck’s property.
The charges against Beck are all misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail.