Cantonment Man Gets 10 Years In Prison On Multiple Animal Cruelty Charges

June 30, 2015

A Cantonment man convicted on multiple animal cruelty charges was  sentenced Monday to 10 years in state prison.

Randolph Hewell Rigby, 45, was found guilty June 3 of two counts of felony cruelty to animals and two counts of unlawful confinement of animals. The charges involved four different horses.

The investigation by Escambia County Animal Control officers began in response to an anonymous call about a downed horse at 452 Crowndale Court. Upon arrival, animal control officers found a deceased horse entangled in a fence.

Further inspection of the property revealed multiple emaciated and malnourished horses.  The horses were kept in an enclosure with no grass and lacked fresh food and water.  Over the next two months, several follow up inspections were conducted; little to no improvement in the condition of the property or care of the horses was observed.  Ultimately, all livestock was removed from the property and five individuals were arrested as a result of the investigation.

George Edward Kenneth Ahl, 24, Casey Tyler Ahl, 20, and Frances Rebecca Ahl, 73,  pleaded prior to trial. Each was sentenced to a year on probation and prohibited from possessing animals.  Suspect   George Washington Ahl, 76, died before his case was heard. Only Rigby chose to go to trial.

A 17-page document released by the State Attorney’s office detailed the investigation and provided numerous graphic examples of abuse investigators said they found.

Officers reported finding one horse that was dead and apparently stuck in a fence. Several horses were so malnourished that their bones were protruding, while other had hair loss and marks consistent with a condition called rain rot fungus. Many of the animals had numerous sores and wounds, according to the report. Most were malnourished, and one horse had resorted to eating feces. There was little food available for the animals.

Animal Control also located eight poodles, a doberman and five cats on the property.

One of the malnourished horses, a black Tennessee Walker named Ebony, was taken to Panhandle Equine Rescue for rehabilitation. When officers found Ebony on the property, her bones were showing, her stomach was distended and distended, and she suffered from rain rot.

Over the next several weeks, PER and volunteers worked to save  Ebony. She was the subject of several articles as PER and volunteers kept watch over her and raised funds for a sling to help her to her feet. Now, she’s back up on her own and doing well.

Pictured above: Escambia County Animal Control, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Escambia County Fire Rescue’s Cantonment Station and volunteers use a makeshift sling to lift Ebony, a horse seized from Crowndale Court in Cantonment. Pictured below: Ebony, was unable to get on her feet in her stall about a week after she was seized. file photos, click to enlarge.


13 Responses to “Cantonment Man Gets 10 Years In Prison On Multiple Animal Cruelty Charges”

  1. Susan on July 2nd, 2015 1:28 pm

    This is why I like my dog better than a lot of so called humans that I have known or know of in my life. What a despicable act from these people. There is no excuse unless they are mentally disabled.

  2. david lamb on July 2nd, 2015 7:49 am

    I know nothing about this man or his personal life. I am not justifying his extremely poor care of animals. I like animals, have been involved with the care of animals and agriculture all my life. I know the expense, time ,energy and involvement of animal care.
    What I am going to say will aggravate some but it is how I feel.
    In todays society We seem to care far more about animal cruelty and the death penalty than we do about killing innocent babies that have no voice in their murder!
    Yes, I said it.
    And 10 years seems a little harsh. Does he deserve 10 years?

  3. Bobbie Chambers on July 1st, 2015 8:54 pm

    Even after these people are turned in….they are WATCHED for two months while the animals in their care continue to suffer and wait for rescue….or death….why , something needs to change

  4. Jane on July 1st, 2015 5:07 am

    Glad to see punishment for this abuse, instead of a slap on the hand. Thank you EHR for all you do!

  5. Bob's Brother on June 30th, 2015 5:38 pm

    I’d be comforted to know that this man had deep personal issues like drug addiction or mental disorder… mainly because no sane person does this to an animal. I may get an arguement or 2 over this, but it costs roughly $300 a month to maintain a horse if you include feed, vet care, and hoof care… maybe more. If you can’t afford your horse, you should sell it or give it to someone who can.

  6. Susan Lopez on June 30th, 2015 2:07 pm

    So they knew this was going on? Why did the authorities let it go this far before removing the animals? I hate this. Why do animals have to suffer or die when you know what he is doing?

  7. EMD on June 30th, 2015 9:58 am

    Finally! Some justice ! ! !

  8. KK on June 30th, 2015 9:54 am

    Happy to say this is a two-fer. It gets an animal abuser and a sex offender out of our neighborhood at the same time.

  9. JusticeForAll on June 30th, 2015 9:10 am

    .i pray the monster does everyday of the 10 years he was sentence and does not get released one day early and he will NEVER be allowed the privelege or right to own/or be around any animals. too bad he didnt get 20 years…

  10. horse lover on June 30th, 2015 8:25 am

    i hope justice is could this man just watch his horses strarve and die with no feelings. The sentences are getting stiffer for animal abuse and thats wonderful.maybe people will get the message and stop doing it.if you dont care about them call the rescue and they will help you find a way to get rid of them.even if they have to go to the sale,atleast they might have a chance for a life.he made them suffer for no reason and if people knew it they should be ashame of their self to sit and watch it.people that turn their heads are just as dont even have to give your name just call people to save an animal. there are more headed to court for this so i hope they face some jail time to.serves them right to. god put them on this earth as he did us and they dererve to live to.

  11. leon bradley on June 30th, 2015 7:23 am

    Please put this man in his cell with no water, food and make the cell 4′ x 4′. what a poor excuse for a human being!

  12. Honest John on June 30th, 2015 5:42 am

    Finally justice. Lock him up and give me the key.

  13. c.w. on June 30th, 2015 4:14 am

    I hope this so called man serves every day of the 10 year sentence. What a worthless piece of trash!

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