Testimony in the animal-cruelty trial of Beth Lynne Hoskins on Monday picked up where it left off two months ago as evidence continued to focus on the condition of her horses before and after the raid on her property.
Veterinarian Jean Feldman defended the use of blow guns to tranquilize some of the horses in order to help the SPCA transport them to “a safer place” so they could be examined and treated for alleged neglect.
Feldman stood her ground during the first day of cross-examination in the nonjury criminal trial of Hoskins on 74 counts of animal cruelty. Monday marked the resumption of testimony in the trial before Aurora Town Justice Douglas W. Marky. Testimony last occurred in September.
Defense attorney Thomas J. Eoannou questioned Feldman on a variety of issues stemming from the March 18, 2010, raid. Eoannou often accused Feldman of contradicting earlier testimony she gave under oath, with the veterinarian frequently standing by her words or correcting Eoannou’s interpretation of details.
Eoannou hammered Feldman on why she used blow guns on some horses or injected others to help get them loaded onto trailers..
Feldman said she had to shoot some of the horses with blow guns in order to help move them to a better place.
Eoannou grilled her on what specific medical treatment she provided the horses the day of the raid as the chief veterinarian on site, but she said the treatment was removing them “from the source of the problem, and I had them fed.”
Hoskins has been on trial since May, with allegations that many horses were underweight or living in unacceptable conditions with a lack of water and high packs of manure, in some instances. Hoskins was later charged with one additional count after it was learned one of her horses was weak and had to be euthanized in 2009 by a different veterinarian – bringing the total count of charges to 74.
Feldman acknowledged she was on the scene for the SPCA on the day of the raid but had no role in making the decision to seize Hoskins’ horses.
“The SPCA walked up to me and said they were going to go in – that things were not good at Beth’s farm,” she said. “I did not make that decision.”
Eoannou asked Feldman to name one horse she tested for thermal regulating to see if it was trying to keep warm.
“I don’t know how you test for that,” she responded. “I would have to ask the horse if it was cold or shivering. Those kinds of questions are hard to get answers from a horse.”
The trial will continue at 3:15 p.m. Thursday.