Trial Begins of Woman Accused of Animal Abuse 

The trial of a woman accused of animal abuse began in Ellsworth Friday.Six horses were seized from a home in Dedham last October and the owner, Jean Marie Ahearn, is trying to get them back. The issues at hand are the animal cruelty charge and whether or not the seizure of the horses was adequate and should be permanent.Chrissy Perry of the Maine Animal Welfare Program took the stand. She made several visits to the home once the initial complaint was received. Perry testified it appeared the horses did not have adequate shelter. Perry says Ahearn claimed she did have materials to build the shelter, but had not gotten to it. She testified that in other visits, she did see work being done on the shelter. The defense called veterinarian Dennis Ruksznis to the stand. he’s done work on Ahearn’s horses for about 15 years. He says he usually sees her horses a couple times a year and never had any concerns. Within the past month he has visited Ahearn’s farm and says he feels she does have adequate shelter for the horses. Farmer Tom Wagner also testified. He has sold hay to Ahearn for several years and says she’s a regular customer and has in his opinion always bought adequate food for the horses. The trial will continue on March 8th.