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Video Allegedly Showing Easton Horse Goes Viral

EASTON, Conn. – A new video said to show a mistreated horse at Pee Wee Horse Farm in Easton went viral this week. The footage shows an emaciated horse with his hind quarters covered in mud, scouring for food and having difficulty walking.

Videographer Karen Rasmussen says the three-minute video is of Blackie, one of the horses now under state care, but the state Animal Control Division could not verify her claim.

“While that horse in the video is of the same color and the same markup as one of the horses seized, I cannot verify that it is Blackie. I was not there when she shot the video, so I cannot say for sure that it is Blackie,” said Ray Connors, supervisor for the state Animal Control.

But Connors did say the state obtained a copy of the video from Rasmussen in the fall and used it to “step up” an investigation of possible animal cruelty by Pee Wee Horse Farm owner Paul Vittorio.

The investigation led Animal Control officers to seize five horses and ultimately to arrest Vittorio. According to court documents, the horses were emaciated, sickly and malnourished.

The animals are now the property of the state and are being boarded in a barn at the York Correctional Facility in Niantic, where prisoners are taking care of them under state supervision.

The 75-year-old Vittorio appeared before a judge in Bridgeport Superior Court on Tuesday and the case was continued to March 6.

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