The king of understatements.
Ernie Paragallo seems to be taking responsibility for the 24 horses he carelessly lost track of, and the rest of them that he almost starved to death. If, in fact, the 24 mares truly were intended to go to the breeding farm and not the kill pen, which isn't proven. You never know with people like him.
Let me ask you something, Ernie. How do you explain these photos? This kind of condition takes months to happen.
Paragallo claims he feeds his horses 14 tons of hay and 5,000 pounds of feed a week and that they were not in that poor shape when they left his farm. He admitted some of the horses at his farm were "skinny" as a result of dominant horses scaring off others. "Some were skinny but others looked like elephants," Paragallo said.
Excuses, excuses. I don't want to hear it. The timid horses at my barn get bullied away from the hay, so we separate them. There is absolutely no valid excuse for a horse not getting enough to eat. And where are the ones that "look like elephants"? I sure don't see any. All I see are emaciated, sick, parasite-infested horses living in filth. If he feeds his horses like he says he does (and we all know he doesn't), those horses would never be deathly thin. The malnutrition isn't the only issue. These horses are absolutely filthy and infested with parasites. Classic examples of long-term and blatant neglect. There is no justification for not making damn well sure that your horses are being fed.
Deworming is such a basic, easy part of caring for a horse. How any kind of "high-class" owner/breeder could overlook it is beyond me. Along with the lice and rain rot. So easy to avoid.
And this really made me angry. Richard Baiardi, the guy who picked up the 24 mares from Paragallo's farm, says that all the horses were in bad condition and wouldn't have made the 1,290 mile trip. He says one died not even 90 miles into the trip.
First of all, if you see these horses that are hundreds of pounds underweight and you're supposed to be taking them to be bred, wouldn't that be a HUGE red flag? Why the hell would you take those horses when they're in that kind of condition?
Baiardi, who sold the horses to the kill pen for $680 because he said he had no other choice, believes it's not Paragallo's fault, but the fault of his help at his farm. "I can't blame Ernie," Baiardi said. "He's at the track, but at the same time he's got to keep eyes on his farm."
Richard, pull your head out of your fucking ass and open your eyes. It's all Paragallo's fault. And yours, for not putting the kabosh on transporting those horses and not calling the authorities when you saw their condition (AND selling them to the kill pen). That dead mare might still be alive today if you hadn't ignored the situation. If you contacted the humane society like you claim, why did they end up in the kill pen?
Ernie was the owner and manager of a facility and it was his responsibility to oversee every aspect of it. Every single animal on that property was his responsibility and it was his obligation to make sure all of them were well cared for. He should have known that going into the business. I don't want to hear your petty excuses about him being too busy to keep an eye on his horses. If his staff was doing a crap ass job of taking care of his horses, he should have been the first to know. And he should have fired their asses. How can he possibly be that blind? He goes to his farm and sees starving horses, and nothing seems amiss? Ernie, are you completely blind, deaf, and dumb, or do you just not care? Don't tell me your horses were fine and don't tell me you didn't notice it.
I don't care how busy you are or how many horses you have. If you're the owner, you need to be on top of everything. If that's not possible, you have no business having horses. If one of my horses is hurt, I want to know immediately. If they're off on one leg, I want to be the first to know. If they pop a splint, I want to know about it. They're no excuse for being blissfully unaware of your horses' conditions. If I put someone in charge of my horses and they were slacking off, their ass would be out the door so fast their head would spin and they'd never be coming back.
No fricken excuse.
That brings us back to the fact that he had no idea where his horses were. How do you not know? Do you live in a fucking cardboard box? And how could you entrust your horses to someone who sold them to a kill pen? I would have had references and background checks on someone who was transporting my horses over a thousand miles. I wonder what would have happened if the 23 remaining mares had arrived at the breeding farm. Would the owner have sent them back without breeding them, like any responsible breeder would do? I honestly don't know.
22 counts of animal cruelty isn't enough. He needs to be charged with the full 177 counts. No punishment is harsh enough for him.
"Of course it's a wake-up call," Paragallo said. "It's a tragedy and totally my responsibility. It was a major screw-up, but I'd never send my horses to the killers."
A "major screw-up" is an epic understatement. And sure, maybe you'd never send your horses to kill buyers, but you have no problem starving and neglecting them! As far as I'm concerned, he's a worthless piece of shit that doesn't have the brains God gave a sheep. He shouldn't be allowed to own animals ever again, either. We'll see.