PRESTON, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Tuesday marked the first court appearance in Fillmore County in the case of 80-year-old Wilbur Schmoll on animal cruelty charges.
Authorities seized 55 horses and donkeys on Nov. 25 from Schmoll's farm.
"I was not doing anything that I was ashamed of," he explained the following week. "I didn't try to hide nothing from nobody."
On January 2, for the first time since the rescue, we witnessed some of the 55 horses rescued from the farm. Six of them had to be euthanized, the other were being cared for in Zimmerman.
"They had to be blanketed, they had to be segregated, they have to be fed individually," said Drew Fitzpatrick, director of the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation.
Schmoll appeared in Fillmore County Court Tuesday before Judge Robert Benson who was appearing via camera from Caledonia where he was holding court for the day. Appearing alone, Schmoll opted to apply for a court appointed attorney.
The OK was given by Judge Benson who explained Schmoll needed to apply for one after the hearing.
When asked to comment, Schmoll declined.
"I ain't even talking to you, I should've run you off the other day," he said while leaving the courthouse. "I've got nothing to say to you because you'll just twist it around to use against me anyhow."
Judge Benson sent Schmoll on his way. Schmoll has been instructed to not own any domestic animals except for his two dogs and he must be on good behavior.
Schmoll was also given the option of an unconditional bail set at $3,000. That amount means that if Schmoll would like to own animals in the meantime or avoid any of the conditions brought before him by Judge Benson, that money would be the cost for that right.
Schmoll's next court appearance is set for Feb. 12 at 11 a.m.
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