Upon reading Ms. Ester Hodkis's terrible words of condemnation of Kate Mills in her letter to the editor in last week's edition, I initially was very angry, and then became profoundly sad that people can extract from newspaper articles only that information they choose to believe, without having any conception of the truth, trying that person before it is proven they have done anything wrong.
In my experience, Kate Mills never has, did not in this case, nor would she ever abuse an animal. She has been involved in showing animals since she was 5 years old and has earned many honors, not just for her showmanship abilities but for the animals shown as well. She begins her senior year at MSU this fall, and was residing in Lansing at the time of the raid on the Mills farm.
During the winter a horse (which, by the way, was under veterinary care) died on the farm as did some newborn lambs. The lambs were awaiting pickup by the U.S Dept. of Agriculture for DNA testing.
While it was reported in your paper that approximately 30 perfectly healthy animals were not removed from the premises, many people, including Ms. Hodkis, seem to overlook that fact. Does it not seem illogical that they would selectively choose to abuse one animal and not the other 30?
I only wish people would make sure they know the facts before judging others. This nightmare which has become part of the lives of a good family if nothing else has made me realize the need to be skeptical of most of what we read and be slow to judge others.
When Kate is exonerated, I do hope Ms. Hodkis and all others who have judged her without all the facts will be equally as quick to offer her an apology as they have been to assault her character.
Editor's note: District Judge Laura C. Barnard on Monday dropped all animal torture and abuse charges against Kate Mills. Mills' attorney presented documentation that she had been residing in East Lansing at the time the alleged abuse took place.