Thursday, August 18, 2011
Humane Society offers reward
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Humane Society is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for injuring a horse.
It was under care at the Animal Care Shelter in Holly Springs, according to George Kahrs, a member of the Humane Society.
The horse was brought to the shelter after Judge Eugene Brown issued an order releasing it to the custody of the Humane Society at a court hearing July 25, said president Maggie Holmes. She said the owner did not show up for the hearing or file a petition to the court regarding the horse’s custody.
Kahrs said two horses had not had enough to eat and little to drink when they were removed from an enclosure in the Highway 78/Victoria area.
Volunteers found the horse down when they arrived at the shelter Wednesday morning of last week, according to Carmen Marlin. She said she had seen the horse doing well at about 2 p.m. Tuesday when she was out taking care of the animals.
Willow Bend Animal Clinic was called and a veterinarian came out to see about the downed horse when volunteers could not get it to get up. Marlin said volunteers thought they had a downed horse but after the animal was given pain medicine and the horse attempted to stand, the veterinarian found a wound on the hip. After inspection and a field necropsy, the veterinarian ruled the horse’s wound was consistent with one caused by a gunshot, Marlin said.
The horse was euthanized around 11 a.m. Wednesday, she said. Officers with the Holly Springs Police Department and investigators arrived at the shelter to take a report. The gate locks and chains had not been tampered with or broken, Marlin said.
Veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Smith said there was a small external puncture wound and a huge tunnel type area inside consistent with a gunshot wound. Also, the top of the pelvis was shattered, consistent with a gunshot wound. The horse had apparently broken its hipbone when it fell – a large break, she said.
“It is a shame,” she said. “We had been working with the horse about a month and he had been gaining weight back. He’s probably the skinniest horse I have seen living.”
The two horses were very hungry when they arrived at the shelter and tried to eat the paper out of her hands and nipped at her pockets, she said.
The horse had lost too much blood to survive and could not have survived with the broken hip, she said. Therefore, euthanasia was the only recourse left.
Smith offered her condolences to the volunteers at the shelter who had helped nurse the horse back to health.
“The good thing is the folks out there did a really good job and made sure he had plenty of food and lots of love,” Smith said. “He was a happy horse. I hope this was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time (stray bullet).”
Smith added that horses are expensive to keep, aside from the veterinarian bills which are very expensive. She said horses are too expensive for her to have one. And people should not assume that a skinny horse is not being cared for or neglected like these two horses definitely were, she said. They were tied up before they were removed to the shelter.
If anyone suspects neglect, they should watch the animal for a couple of days to make sure the animal is not being attended to and has no water, Smith said, rather than calling the police immediately.
Some people do not live at the location where they keep their horses, she said, and may not go out every day to check on their water. Some horses also get sick because of lack of forage and they may eat weeds that are poisonous to their systems that they would not otherwise eat.
A horse can be skinny due to bad teeth, age, or parasites, she said.
Anyone with information regarding the possible shooting of this horse is asked to call the police department at 662-252-2122 or to call Marshall County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-729-2169. Callers are not required to disclose their name when leaving a tip with police or Crime Stoppers.
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