Horse trader speaks out about the seizure of his animals - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Horse trader speaks out about the seizure of his animals


LE ROY, Minn. (KTTC) -- Last week sheriff's deputies and the Humane Society seized 55 malnourished horses, ponies and donkeys from a farm in the Le Roy - Ostrander area.  On Thursday, KTTC heard directly from the man who cared for them on his farm.

Authorities still refuse to tell us who they've been investigating and where it all happened.  There has been a whirlwind of comments for and against the man who was the target of the raid.

Wilbur Schmoll's pasture remains quiet and empty after last week when authorities showed up to his farm and took all of his horses, ponies, and donkeys.

"I have no idea. I have no idea what transpired," said Schmoll. 

He admits many of those animals were in need of help. 

"They were in poor condition when I got them," said Schmoll. "I've had horses dropped off here at this gate."

Leaving Schmoll with questions, "Who's really the guilty party? The people who dropped them off here? Or me for accepting them?"

With the looming possibility of criminal charges being brought against him, he still has no regrets. 

"Because I was not doing anything that I was ashamed of," said Schmoll. "I didn't try to hide nothing from nobody."

At 80 years of age, Schmoll explained that after they took all 55 of his animals, they were also taking away his income.  He collects social security and his animals are how he makes it by. 

"Well I'm selling stuff to other people -- selling horses. I've got quite a few wagons around here -- I sell wagons and stuff to a lot of people," Schmoll said.  "Horses have been my life my entire life. That's -- I've traded horses all my life."

We checked Minnesota District Court records and there have not been any animal abuse charges of any kind filed against Schmoll that we could find.

Schmoll verified that in the days just prior to the raid, he was in intensive care at a hospital for six days after being hurt in a farm accident.

He had left the horses in the care of others.  He said if charges are filed against him he will fight and go through with a jury trial.

The Fillmore County Sheriff's Office said it's still investigating.

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