Horse owner under the gun to care for animals

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) - Off of Highway 171 near Fitzenreiter, a colt had to be put down last Friday after suffering from starvation and sickness. Calcasieu Animal Control officials say the owner will be charged with cruelty. "We couldn't get him up on his legs again. And once he had been down for that long of time, it was just next to impossible. It was the kindest thing to put him down," explains Diana Morales with Calcasieu Animal Control.

Two horses remain and the owner has been told by animal control to get veterinary care for them by noon Wednesday or face possibly more cruelty charges. The animals now have hay and some water. But neighbor Raymond LeDay feels it's too little, too late."lThe water is just about all gone now. And there's a little bit of hay left. But these animals are all bony and they're starving. There's a situation here that nobody really seems to want to come out and enforce and say, 'Listen, you either going to comply or you going to go to jail or we gonna put a $500 fine on you."

And Herbert "Johnson, who lives across the street, believes a variety of laws have not been enforced. I don't think it's fair for me because I'm retired now. I'm afraid this is going to effect my health."

This horse was removed from its owner due to cruelty. For now it's at the Calcasieu sheriff's farm behind the jail. But animal control's Diana Morales says there are not enough foster homes for such animals.  "We can put them at the sheriff's office but you can't leave them there indefinitely."

She Hates to see animals suffer the fate of the colt euthanized.  "If it's still a healthy or if it's still an animal that can be fed and taken care of and brought back to health I would much rather see someone who loves animals take it and keep it."

Markets for unwanted horses are have decreased now that slaughtering horses is illegal in the U.S.

The name of the horse owner is being withheld until the district attorney's office reviews the case and decides whether to accept felony or misdemeanor charges.  We'll let you know once a decision is made.

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