By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
ROGERS COUNTY, OK -- A Rogers County couple was charged Thursday with felony animal cruelty after deputies confiscated a horse Wednesday with an open wound so deep his spine was exposed.
Sheriff Scott Walton and Wild Heart Ranch's Annette King-Tucker helped rescue a 20-year-old horse from a Rogers County farm.
When they took the horse, King-Tucker began calling him Trooper because of all he's been through.
Pictures show a deep, infected wound on the horse's back that got so bad, someone e-mailed photos to King-Tucker, who contacted the district attorney, who called the sheriff's office with orders to take the horse into protective custody.
"It was me and two nurses and the doctor and took three hours to remove the dead tissue and infection and get the wound cleaned," King-Tucker said.
She says it's the worst wound she's seen out of the 12,000 animals her non-profit group has rescued over the years.
The horse's owners, Steven and Kimberly Peck, told deputies they'd been trying to treat the wound.
They were arrested on complaints of felony animal cruelty.
"It's certainly a choice to own an animal, whether it's a house cat or house dog or livestock, and we want that clear to the public -- we expect people to care for their animals," Walton said.
That includes keeping them fed, properly penned and treated for medical conditions.
Trooper's vet bill could be about $5,000, and donations will be needed to cover it.
If the court awards custody of him to Wild Heart Ranch, King-Tucker already has two owners lined up, willing to give him a good home.
"The only reason Trooper is here today is because his heart, and that's it because he didn't have much of anything else," King-Tucker said.
If anyone wants to donate, contact the Wild Heart Ranch at (918) 342-WILD or visit its Web site. King-Tucker will update Trooper's condition on her blog.