by Gan Matthews
The horses, many of whom were in poor health, now reside at the Wynnewood rodeo grounds. Authorities said they were taken from their old home after their owner could no longer care for them properly.
“She was attempting to try to take care of the horses. Financially she was getting into a situation where she couldn’t afford it,” said Garvin County Sheriff Steve Brooks.
Four horses were found dead and three others had to be euthanized. Vets have been able to treat the remaining horses.
Local residents are also helping with the horses’ recovery and so is the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals.
“We committed to food and veterinary care. They’ll have to be treated for parasites immediately,” said Ruth Steinberger, Oklahoma Alliance for Animals.
Deputy Kerry Poteet has been bottle-feeding one young foal at her home, and many residents have said they want to adopt some of the horses.
Authorities said Garvin County has seen an increase in horse abuse cases in the last three years and said it is may partially be due to a new federal law that makes it harder to slaughter older or marginal horses for human consumption abroad. The new law has, in some cases, left owners with horses they can no longer afford.
“Some people have it in their mind that, ‘well, I’m not going to spend the money to take a horse to slaughter or have it euthanized. I’ll just stick it out there in the pasture and hope that it will pass away.’ You can’t do that,” Brooks said.
The District Attorney in Garvin County will decide next week if any criminal charges will be filed in this case.