Yesterday all the testimony was concluded in the Heydon Animal Cruelty trial and the jury began deliberation. The courtroom was still full to overflowing on the third and last day of the trial. The jury was in deliberation late into the night, and will reconvene today at 10:00 am. Last night some of the people who have been attending or following the proceedings gathered to await the verdict and share dinner. During the friendly discussions of the evening, one man said something to effect of: even if these men are not convicted, not held accountable for their indifference to suffering, much good has still come out of the series of events. And that is true - many community members are working very hard for new and effective animal protection legislation, Willing Servants was formed to provide support and services to assist horses and owners, and others in the community consistently make themselves and their resources available for rescue or assistance efforts on their own. In the grand scheme of things, the Heydons are no longer really significant. Working to ensure that people like them cannot just walk away from abuse and neglect, that penalties are in line with offenses, that prosecution is sure and swift and fair, that people in the community have support for their horses when they need it - that is what is really important here now. Let's remain steadfast in our commitment to these excellent efforts.
To see the Ravalli Republic newspaper account of yesterday's testimony, click here.