, Muskogee, OK

March 4, 2013

26 horses rescued; malnutrition alleged

Associated Press

— PANAMA (AP) – More than two dozen malnourished horses were rescued Saturday in LeFlore County.

Sheriff Rob Seale said he and his deputies traveled to private property on Coal Creek Road outside of Panama and seized 26 horses, several of which he said were in poor condition.

“We had a report that a man had a bunch of horses that were malnourished and had some cuts and rain-rot, and that one of the horses was dead,” Seale told the Southwest Times Record.

LeFlore authorities traveled to the property Thursday after receiving the report.

“It was a breeding farm basically,” Seale said. “(The owner) hadn’t been taking care of the horses.”

Seale said after he notified the LeFlore County District Attorney’s Office about the condition of the horses, he received permission to seize the horses without a court order.

When authorities returned to the property Saturday, they confirmed that one of the horses was dead. Several of the horses were so malnourished that the outline of their ribs and hip bones were visible, Seale said.

“A lot of them didn’t have shelter, and their coats were rain-rotted,” he said.

A stud was found locked in a horse trailer without food or water, according to Seale.

After the horses were seized, they were placed in holding pens at a livestock auction facility. Food and care was provided with contributions from the Humane Society, Seale said.

The sheriff said he had sent a probable cause affidavit, applying for a warrant to arrest the owner of the horses.

The horse owner, whose name has yet to be released, has a history of neglecting his horses, Seale said.