updated 2:19 PM UTC, Oct 15, 2020

Horse dies from alleged neglect

Horse dies from alleged neglectby Emily Waldrep

According to witnesses in the Spurger area, a horse died on Friday, August 30, after several reports were made to county officials regarding animal cruelty.

Witnesses stated that the first reports were made 6 months ago, and another report was made a week before the horse's death. Sheriff Deputies took a report, but the horse died later in the week.

Neighbors who lived near the horse stated that the owner had been away from home for two to three weeks and had not given the horse any fresh water or food, and that neglect had also been occurring two years prior to the horse's death. The horse also had a large cut on the back of her hoof, making it hard for her to walk and stand.

"I saw her lying down with a cut on her hoof just gushing blood," said a witness. "When I told the owner, he said that she had gotten out and ran away. But she had been in the pen the entire time."

The owner, Jarrod Hancock of Spurger, could not be contacted for a quote.

"He also has other dogs on his property that are skin and bones," witnesses said. "This neglect has been going on a while, and no one will do anything about it."

Tyler County does not have an active animal control program in the county, and the City's animal control program does not have any jurisdiction over the county.

"I try my best on my own time to work outside the county but my jurisdiction is only inside of Woodville," said Woodville animal control officer Robert Bentz. "I would love to see a county wide animal program to help animals outside of the city."

Houston SPCA will also take reports from Tyler County and will respond if the case is serious and the witness can give some type of evidence of the cruelty, but response times can be too slow to save some animals.

Horse owners in Texas are required to provide adequate food, water, shelter, veterinary care and farrier care to all horses and failure to do so can result in a case of animal cruelty.

According to the Houston SPCA, in a civil animal cruelty case, if a judge rules that a person or people have been cruel to animals, the judge may take away their animals and order them to pay restitution. If prosecuted in a criminal case, a person may face penalties including fines, jail, or both. Those under the age of 18 are also required to undergo counseling if convicted of animal cruelty.

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