Roodhouse, Illinois During his 2010 campaign for Greene County Sheriff, Rob McMillion stated one of his priorities if elected would be to “aggressively [investigate] criminal activity”. That’s why, when he received complaints of horses starving to death with carnage on the ground that Wednesday evening, it was dark, he waited until after the corpses of nine to eleven horses had been buried prior to making his “surprise” visit. With budgetary cutbacks, I guess flashlights were the first to be cut from the department. Besides that, we’re simply talking about animals. Horses aren’t bound to complain. Or are they? You tell me.
Damn it. That one is dead as well. I’m going to have to go through almost a dozen pictures to find one who might actually relay the living hell that’s being suffered in a rural horse farm outside of Roodhouse, Illinois. Maybe these, once majestic beasts, can best tell the story:
When Scott and LaNise Kirk decided to check out a property they heard may be for sale, they stumbled upon the horror scene. At that time, they discovered nine dead horses laying on the ground and the remaining horses that were still alive, weren’t far behind in their fate.
Thinking something would be done, it appears this couple did everything possible in alerting authorities. The Central Illinois Horse Rescue Society was contacted…they contacted the IL Department of Agriculture. The sheriff’s department was contacted. So was the owner. Well, I don’t think the Kirks alerted the owner – it was more like the Dept. of Ag. As a courtesy. Something like: “Hey, a couple snooped on your land and found out you may be a sadistic cunt. Unfortunately, I need to send someone out to investigate so I’ll tell you what: You head out there and put some food out and we’ll just sweep this incident under the rug. There’s nothing we can really do if there’s food. What do they eat? Oh, let me look…hay. Maybe some oats. Shit like that. Maybe one of your neighbors would know where you’d find something like that. Oh, one more thing. Bury the eye-sores. You’ll never sell that property the way it is now. See you then!!“
While the italicized conversation is imagined, what is factual is this: Stacey Kempf, the alleged owner of this concentration camp for horses contacted her neighbor, Art Churchill, to deliver a couple of bales of hay in preparation for the investigator. She also asked him to operate an excavator to bury the remains of the horses that were littering the ground. And as the party convened, (the owner, the investigator – Stacy Ballard, and Churchill), Art was shocked with what he saw. He ended up burying thirteen carcasses that day. He also stated they watched a horse thrash around on the ground because it was too weak to stand. From starvation. From neglect. Because it was indeed dying right in front of them. And what’s a good investigator with the Dept of Ag do in a situation like that? You’ve got it. Turn and walk away. You know, denial is a powerful tool. So is complacency. My guess is Ms. Ballard left that farm and made sure she got a nice meal that evening. After all, we’re just talking about starving animals. It’d really be a situation if they had been starving people. It’s easy to look the other way. Or is it?
There have been rumors the selfish and barbaric owner has thought about pressing charges against the Kirks for trespassing on her property. And it may be true. The Kirks did return to continue to gather evidence via pictures and video. They also returned with food for these helpless animals. And I can swear to God, if any State’s Attorney assists this monster, we’ll not rest until they’re out of office. The same can be said for Ms. Ballard, who seemed to be satisfied these horses were okay where they were because there was visible food set out for them.
What about their emaciated state? What about the fact thirteen carcasses were buried per her request with the legal depth requirement disclosed to Mr. Churchill? What happened to being able to see these horses that were struggling with life needed immediate veterinary care or to be euthanized? What happened to common sense?
It’s been three weeks since the Kirks came forward with their discovery. In the last few days, the owner (again the alleged owner is Stacey Kempf), has relinquished possession of the remaining horses to Steve Alexander, of the Central Illinois Horse Rescue Society. Although this is the only fortunate step in this case thus far, the owner still needs to be held accountable for the thirteen deaths and the 20 emaciated horses that were sure to meet their death as well. Since the owner’s name is well connected, and since the local media have refused to publish her name or any of the photographs, it’s my assumption they’re going to wait this one out with no arrests and wait for people to forget about it and go back to bitching about gas prices.
Fuck that shit. This “owner” is responsible for sucking the soul out of an animal with the most expressive eyes. She did so knowingly and willingly. To me, this act alone is one of the worst that can be performed by a human…to sit back and watch animals die from starvation, knowing their fate is in your hands. Watching hope slip out of their eyes. Take a look for yourselves.
A special thank you to Mr. Kirk for the use of his pictures. And to he and his wife for the love and compassion shown in coming forward with this story.