Bloomingburg Following criminal charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and the lesser misdemeanor charges of torturing and injuring animals, Dr. Chong S. Lee and Keum H. Lee of Wallkill, were sentenced on July 23 to three years probation, 300 hours of community service, and ordered to surrender ownership of the two severely abused horses to Equine Rescue, a non-profit organization located in Bloomingburg. Equine Rescue was also awarded restitution of $21,988.50 to cover the expenses incurred for rehabilitating and caring for these two rescued horses since April 17, 2009. The severity of the abuse against the horses, Suzi and Whiskey, shocked everyone involved in the rescue, and inspired the community in an expression of outrage over the treatment of these two starved and abused horses that subsequently were rehabilitated at the Equine Rescue facility. “The long battle brought justice, but the cost of caring for neglected horses is so high that it is a struggle to meet our day-to-day costs,” said Lynda Broas, operator of Equine Rescue. Special feed alone costs in excess of $200 per month. Add to this the cost of vet bills, farrier costs, facility overhead, wormers, supplements, as well as medications, and the cost per horse can easily top $1,000 per month. Since it was formed in 1996, Equine Rescue has been dedicated to rehabilitating abused and neglected horses and ponies and has helped find homes with people who have given them another chance at being useful riding horses or companions. Their Web site is full of heart-warming success stories. Other horses, who are less adoptable, have found a permanent home at the rescue. “I hope the sentencing doesn’t bring closure to this matter,” Broas said. “I hope it serves as a wake-up call and that the community that rallied for Suzi and Whiskey will realize that they are two among many that need their support on an ongoing basis.” Broas welcomes visitors to the Web site as well as to the facility to learn more about the program and hopefully volunteer, donate or both. For more information, call Broas at 733-6085 or visit Equine-Rescue.org.