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Ruling due on who pays for seized animalsí care

Updated: 09/19/08 7:02 AM

A court decision is expected today on whether a Grand Island stable owner is liable for expenses related to the care of animals seized from his property by the SPCA.

The bond hearing is separate from the criminal case against Peter L. Sparks.

His Bedell Road business, Sparks Trading Post, was raided Aug. 12 by the SPCA, which seized a dozen horses and five sheep. Sparks, 56, was charged with 17 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty on allegations that the animals were malnourished and lacked medical care.

Through a bond hearing, the SPCA is seeking $9,442.50 to cover veterinary bills and boarding costs through Sept. 26. If the criminal case isnít resolved by that date, the SPCA reserved the right to claim additional expenses.

If a bond is ordered and Sparks fails to post it within five days, he must forfeit the animals.

The hearing ó during which both sides presented veterinarians and other witnesses ó spanned approximately 18 hours during two sessions before Town Justice Mark J. Frentzel.