Andrea Arnold has loved horses since she was a little girl growing up in Switzerland.
So, when she learned they were being mistreated at a horse farm close to her home in Easton, Conn., she went a step further than calling the proper authorities. She took action.
“You wouldn't expect to find a place like that around here,” said the Fairfield resident. “We are in one of the richest counties in the United States.”
In May of 2010, Arnold and her husband, Rene, adopted Caille, a chestnut “quarter horse” who had a rough start to life at Pee Wee Horse Farm. When they picked her up from there, she had lost some of her hair and was in overall poor health. Caille wasn't the only one suffering, though. Paul Vittorio, the owner of Pee Wee Horse Farm, has been accused of depriving all his animals of food, water and space to move around.
“Animals in that condition can’t live,” she said. “The authorities have watched before they acted.”
Thankfully, receiving proper amenities is no longer an issue for Caille. Since the Arnolds’ house sits on two acres of land, she and Salinos, a horse they brought over from Switzerland, can roam around freely and get exercise.
Arnold is also in the process of adopting another horse from the Pee Wee Horse Farm, but said she hopes the allegations against the facility and its owner come to a head soon and it will be shut down.
Based on recent developments in the case against Vittorio, Arnold might get her wish —just last week, Connecticut officials found horses in need of immediate medical assistance at Pee Wee. One had a cold, the other had a bruised eye and another had a bruised leg, according to NBC news.
When Arnold isn't doing her part in saving local horses from alleged animal cruelty, she services the community as store manager of the Wusthof outlet and distribution center in Norwalk. The company regularly donates to the Norwalk Education Fund, the Open Door Shelter in Norwalk, the Norwalk Major Ball and STAR Norwalk.