GUEST COLUMN: Jan Dockery's side of the horse seizure story

  • Janice Dockery's horses are coming home soon after a judge dismissed charges against her. Photo by Art Miller
    Janice Dockery's horses are coming home soon after a judge dismissed charges against her. Photo by Art Miller

   By Jan Dockery, Guest Columnist

   When malicious statements are made by The Court of Public Opinion, people believe them. Statements made about my horses are: “skin and bones,” “standing in 3 feet of mud and manure,” “one was lucky to be alive,” “feed, water buckets not touched in ages.”     These outright lies have forever ruined my reputation, causing me to be hated.
    After a friend was murdered in Asheville, I moved here, seeking PEACE. In a barn near me, was a beautiful Appaloosa. I bought two of his fillies. When I found yearling Magnum, I knew he was mine!
    The fillies’ breeder informed me that I shouldn’t own him, I knew nothing of studs, and I would get killed. I proceeded to raise Magnum on my own. My goal plan was to have a small breeding program, to help save the foundation Apps, which are on the verge of extinction. My horses would become self-sufficient, and I could buy a FARM for them.
    I rented pastures for the mares and kept Magnum at home. If rental pastures don’t work out, you bring your horses home. So people gave me a hard time about having horses at my house. The breeder started trying to get Magnum from me, including sending his buddies to buy Magnum for him.
    Things escalated to the point that I sent Magnum away in 2009. He produced 8 foals for another farm. Unfortunately, Magnum was not cared for. At 600 pounds, his organs were tanking, he couldn’t stand up, and he developed autoimmune disease (as arthritis) all over his body, requiring injections in his joints. Eight months and $5,000-plus later he was released to come home in 2011. This was because I feared for his safety in Cherokee County. When I’m destroyed by public opinion, my horses suffer, especially Magnum.
    I bred him to the first mare I purchased from the local breeder, producing Stormy, the wild one in 2012. Stormy gave me a filly in 2017. Those 2 are the only horses I’ve ever produced from Magnum.  
    My rental pasture flooded when our rainfall amounts increased, so the horses came home in 2012 – and the war started again.     During his re-election campaign, Keith Lovin staked out my home with undercover deputies, and threatened to seize the horses. In 2014, I sent Magnum away again, but this time I also gave away 8 mares to keep them from being seized. When I totaled up the money I lost from my investment in those mares, their care, and potential foal sales, I had lost $237,000. This was the money with which I should have remodeled my home, sold it, and invested in a real farm. Cherokee County had destroyed my dream – and my finances.  
    While gone, Magnum sired 4 foals, creating breeding programs for 2 more farms … once again …. foals which should have been in my own breeding program.  
    Magnum returned in 2015, when we were at my parents’ home, which was for sale. The only PEACE we have had was during those 2 years. But the house sold, so we returned to my place.  By 2018, the Social Medianites consolidated to harass me, trespass my property, take photos, slander me online, and incessantly call the Sheriff.
    The Mouths posted: “she should be put in prison” “we should just go get her horses,” “I’ll take one,” “I want two,” “while she wasn’t home, I went onto her property,” and so on.
    By then, it was raining in historic measure. My place sits below the road, where flash floods pour into the horse’s area.  By early 2018 my place was sopped. I had poplars that had to be cut, on both ends of my property. Both trees could have fallen on the horses. So I gathered the horses behind the house, in 12x12 stalls, so the trees could come down, and my property could be graded for drainage.
    I told each deputy about my flooding issues and the trees, but they ignored these realities. It was always about me, the animal abuser. The Sheriff sent the vet from Franklin to inspect my horses. Her malicious reports served as their basis for seizing my horses in October 2018. Magnum and Stormy were taken to that vet’s place, where she specialized in equine breeding management.
    Double 00 Rescue got two of the horses, and I had no idea where the others were. Detective Faggard promised to give me the addresses, so I could go see my horses –- but he didn’t. Double 00 Farm was having an Open House Oct. 27 (open to the public) so I went. Ms. Ensley became incensed, and called the Sheriff. I was then put under threat of being arrested if I went to see my horses, and was told in no uncertain terms NOT to DARE go anywhere near the vet’s farm in Franklin, where my stallions were.   
    While I was gone on my very first court date, someone killed my cat. He was throwing up all his blood and having non-stop violent seizures. X-rays revealed that both his back legs were broken from being twisted. Sociopaths kill cats. It is proven that they are capable of murder, as with my friend’s murder in Asheville. This proves how much I am hated in Cherokee County.
    While forbidden to see my horses, the court dates kept getting delayed. I have no proof, but I wonder if they were breeding my stallions in Franklin, collecting stud fees, and providing the local breeders with foals? When I gave away the eight mares due to Keith Lovin’s threats, I developed anxiety disorder, and have been in ER several times with panic attacks. Im now on meds for PTSD.My broken heart will never heal. Why couldn’t those who wanted possession of my horses have asked me where they could buy such horses themselves? I would have told them!
    On Sept. 19, 2019, the charges against me were dropped. I am seeking help in finding a better pasture for the horses.
    I will soon be able to see my horses again. I pray to God in Heaven that we can just be left alone, to live in peace.
    The writer is a resident of Peachtree.