There was a time when horse thieves were punished by the government, it was considered a dirty crime. Now the government empowers them.
Enter Steve Sprowl, horse thief. Actually he actually works for the SPCA. As you can see by the video, Steve and the police who show up on the property already assume guilt and threaten the young lady with jail unless she is willing to allow entry to the property without any warrant.
Another woman in Deerfield wrote the following of her encounter with Steve...
"first of all, there was shelter. I had 2 10x20 and 1 10x10 runin set up. They had roofs and the back wall was complete. I was in the process of finishing the the end walls which were partialy done. I also had 5 75 gallon water troughs that were out there. One was full with NO ice at all. 2 were empty just in case the one I kept full froze too much over night and 2 had frozen when we had the sudden cold snap come through!!! When they showed up I willingly showed them my horses. The vet told me they were in good weight as she was looking them over. I told her my feed and worming program, she said they were fine as well. They were NOT dehydrated, they were NOT underwieght and they DID have shelter. I had hay and grain there. I have the reciepts to prove that I was buying my feed. I was at the grain store several times a week. They showed MY baby and MY paint mare on the news the other night, DO THEY SERIOUSLY LOOK LIKE THEY WERE UNDERWIEGHT?!
I have had a run in before with Sprowl, that I don't deny, but the horse he took from me was returned when I had proven that he was taken wrongly! He was taken because they thought he had a recent injury not being cared for. It was in fact a 13 yr old injury that had caused his pastern to fuse and calcify. It happened long before I got him. I proved my case to him with the yearly xrays I had done of him, the 3 vets(including a surgeon) and my farrier that I had done everything possible to help him. Funny how in the 3 weeks they had him up there he lost weight and developed and ulcer!!! He had NEVER had a problem with his stomach before!@!
This time when Sprowl came around due to someone calling out of spite, he threatened me repeatedly with jail, told me the only way I could stay out of jail and keep my filly was to sign over my other horses. after I signed them over he loaded my filly up as well!!! She wasn't even on the same property. She was in a 15x20 stall with a pony. He said it wasn't good enough, but he left the pony alone and said it was fine for her.
The site (equinesite.com) this comment was originally posted on has since deleted the thread due to the controversy it has raised.
The last update from the woman who posted above is that she had also had other animals taken from her and in an effort to "save" her stallion, they ended up putting it down. Yup. They said she didn't care for it well enough so they killed it.
And now there is HB220 a bill that REQUIRES animals be taken into custody when a person is CHARGED with cruelty to animals. So all someone has to do is make a charge against you and your animals will be taken by force of law with you left unable to do anything about it. Not that this isn't happening already thanks to people like Steve Sprowl but it will happen far more should this bill be allowed to pass because it will be a requirement of the law.
So much for innocence until proven guilty or having to show reasonable cause. Now it only takes a simple phone call from a ticked off neighbor or maybe someone who is interested in purchasing your prized horse cheaply at a government auction or maybe just someone who doesn't like you and just like that you've lost your animals. And don't think this stops at horses... nope, dogs and cats too. As you sit reading this petting your little furry friend just think that all it will take is one simple phone call to have your furry friend ripped from your arms at the point of a gun with you left having to prove your innocence to get them back.