Charges Expected In Starving Horses Case

Thursday, March 22nd 2007, 2:48 pm
By: News On 6

Sheriff’s Deputies seize eight horses after they were discovered starving in a North Tulsa field on Wednesday. Animal abuse investigators from the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County plan to present their evidence to the district attorney. They say four owners could face felony animal cruelty charges. The eight horses are now at the Tulsa Stockyards getting some much needed attention. The News On 6’s Joshua Brakhage reports their bodies may be weak, but the folks taking care of them say their spirits are still strong.

Sheriff’s Deputies say it's been a long time since the eight horses have been properly fed. Now they’re getting the kind of care deputies say they didn't in a small Tulsa field.

"But it appears as if they haven't been fed in quite a while, as if they're starving,” said Sergeant Willie Lewis. “This is one of the worst cases we've seen in a while."

Veterinarians say there was not enough grass in the field for nine horses. One horse was so weak, it couldn't stand up, and had to be put down right where it laid. The stockyards sees sick animals come in all the time. They say they've seen worse individual cases, but never this many, this bad off.

"He's been feeding all five horses, then all of a sudden he has to feed all 10 horses, and you know, everybody's doing the best they can and I guess it's just not enough," said horse owner Erica Alexander.

Owners promise they've been feeding the horses, but folks at the stockyards say differently. Caregivers say most of the horses look like colts, even though they're 4-years-old or older. They say that only happens after extensive malnutrition.

The stockyards will keep the horses fed and taken care of until they're healthy enough to travel. Then they'll be adopted out, which shouldn’t be much of a problem, The News On 6 has already gotten calls from as far away as the southwest corner of the state from people who want to give the horses a safe and happy home. But it will be a long road, the stockyards' owner says it could be two months or more before the horses recover from the apparent starvation.

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