Fighting For Groucho

Posted by Matthew Liebman, ALDF Staff Attorney on May 18, 2009

ALDF is in court today in Johnston County, North Carolina to recover the costs of caring for Groucho, a neglected stallion. Groucho was originally part of ALDF’s lawsuit against Gayle, Michael, and Judy Keating, but shortly after ALDF filed the suit, the Keatings purportedly sold Groucho to Joel Simpson, a family friend, for $1. Groucho continued to suffer from neglect under Simpson’s care, so an animal cruelty investigator seized Groucho, and ALDF sued Simpson for animal cruelty. Groucho was transported to a foster home by the United States Equine Rescue League, where he has been recovering safely.

Under North Carolina law, when a shelter takes on the burden of caring for a victim of animal cruelty, it is entitled to recover the expenses it incurs in doing so. The Equine Rescue League has had to pay for Groucho’s medical bills and routine upkeep, which total almost $2,000. ALDF, on behalf of the Equine Rescue League, has petitioned the court in Johnston County to force Simpson to pay those costs, since he is responsible for Groucho’s suffering. The court will hold a hearing on the petition today; we will update our website as soon as we learn of the court’s decision.