animal cruelty 2016HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (6/23/16) — Hopkins County Humane Society has taken over the care of an emaciated horse this week.

Citing lax animal cruelty laws in the state, the shelter says there are no current plans to press charges against the animal owner.

HCHS officials said the 10-year-old registered thoroughbred is expected to make a slow and steady recovery after a Good Samaritan spotted the starving horse in a pasture and reported it. The horse was also found to have worms.

“The owner told us he could not get the horse to eat,” said HCHS Director Dustin Miller. “Once we moved the horse to a grassy area, the horse was eating just fine.”

Miller explained there was no grass or clover in the pasture for the animal to eat — only thorns and brush.

The location of “Halo” has been kept confidential so that it does not bring stress and emotion for the people trying to bring it back to health, Humane Society officials said today.

Miller said the shelter is concentrating on finding care for the animal with the help of the community and local veterinarians, since there are no accommodations to transport or house large animals at the local facility.

Officials are also concerned about current legislation in place to protect animals.

“In many states, this would be a misdemeanor charge with no jail time and fines,” Miller said. “We’re not quick to go to court because it is timely as well as costly and there are still many unanswered questions concerning the situation.”

HCHS President Jack Merrill said Halo is currently the property of the shelter.

“It has a temporary home and it needed to be pulled from its location,” he said. “Typically, what we like to do is work with people at a location, but if we have to pull an animal, that means the accommodations for the animal are harmful.”

Shelter officials said there were other horses at the location, which had six pastures.

Once Halo has been rehabilitated, Miller said the shelter plans to find a “furever” home for the horse, and it will be gelded.

“The horse will not go back to the owner,” Miller said. “We are not looking into pressing charge due to issues; we are going to hold for right now.”

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Reporter

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