Animal welfare charges laid against Count Your Blessings Farm in Napanee

Count Your Blessings Farms, a horse breeding and equestrian training farm, has become the subject of an Animal Welfare Services investigation. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell/Kingstonist.

A local horse farm has received a number of provincial charges under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act.

Amanda Dowdall and Ryan Leduc, who operate Count Your Blessings Farm on Beechwood Road in Napanee, have been charged under Section 23 of the Provincial Offences Act.  

The charges, laid by Inspector Lori Lamb of Animal Welfare Services, allege that between June 14, 2022, and September 19, 2022, the co-accused couple, “being the person who owns or has custody or care of an animal,” each committed six violations of the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act.

The six charges include:

  • permitting an animal to be in distress;
  • failure to comply with the prescribed standards of care for horses;
  • failure to comply with an order served on July 6, 2022;
  • knowingly or recklessly causing an animal to be exposed to undue risk of distress;
  • failure to provide a pen or other enclosed structure or area, where any surfaces, structures and materials in it, are made of and contain only materials that are, of a texture and design that will not bruise, cut or otherwise injure the animal;
  • failure to produce any animal or thing required by the Inspector in the course of the inspection, and providing any information relevant to the inspection in response to the inspectors’ questions.

Thursday, May 4, 2023, marked the first court date for the co-accused at the Ontario Court of Justice in Napanee. The session was attended virtually by around 20 observers, and in-person at the Thomas Street courthouse by the Animal Welfare Services Inspectors. At that time it was decided to adjourn until June 7, 2023, to enable a discussion between the Crown and defence attorneys. A judicial pretrial was set tentatively for July 11, 2023, at 9 a.m.

Count Your Blessings Farm boasts it is a place “where your horse is treated like one of the family” on its website. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell/Kingstonist.

After posting an extensive response to the charges on a private Facebook group for her followers, Amanda Dowdall responded to an interview request, writing, “Due to the ongoing legal situation, I am being advised to refrain from discussing further at this time. However, I would love to revisit this offer when all is said and done.”

This is a developing story with more to come.

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