- Texas, USA -
On the evening of Thursday, August 3, 2023, the Coryell County Sheriff's Office received a call from the owner of a property near Topsey who reported that three horses had died. The woman explained that there were other horses on the property who were alive but she hadn’t seen their guardians since May 2, 2023.
According to a press release by the Coryell County Sheriff's Office, the woman also said that she could not afford to feed the horses and “she did not want any additional deaths.”
According to the woman, her attempts to contact the horses’ guardian were unsuccessful.
The following morning, the CCSO Livestock Deputy responded to the property, met with the owner, and investigated the report.
According to the sheriff’s office, the deputy found eleven (11) live horses who were “in bad shape with bones seen protruding from their heads, ribs, and hips.”
The deputy did not see any hay for the poor horses. The sheriff’s office said the deputy saw several round bale feeders that were empty, as well as “three troughs filled with water and no grass anywhere on the property.”
Walking through the property, the deputy first came across a large brown horse carcass on the north side of the house, and then, as advised by the property owner, two other horse carcasses were located in the northwest pasture.
Given the horses’ living and health conditions, the unsuccessful attempts to contact their guardians, and the property owner’s inability to properly care for the horses, the Voiceless Victims were released to the sheriff’s office and they were removed the following day, August 5, 2023.
Meanwhile, the CCSO Livestock Deputy tried to contact the horses’ guardians with no success.
The rescued horses were examined by a veterinarian on August 8, 2023. According to the sheriff’s office, the vet found the animals to be “very thin, exhibiting signs of malnourishment.”
The vet further reported that he would consider two of the horses to be emaciated and scored each of them a 1/9.
Based on the deputy’s observations and the veterinarian’s assessment, which established probable cause, the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office issued fourteen (14) arrest warrants for 34-years-old COLTON RILEY HALE (pictured), “alleging Cruelty to Livestock Animals (Abandonment - Failure to provide necessary food, water, or care)”, stated the release.
HALE was taken into custody on Thursday, August 17, 2023, on bonds totaling $35,000, and released on Saturday, August 19, 2023.
After HALE’s arrest, the sheriff’s office advised that the investigation into this matter was ongoing and additional arrests were expected.
In fact, the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office has now announced a second arrest in the case. According to a news release, 37-years-old SABRINA MARIA HALE (also pictured), was taken into custody on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, in Palo Pinto County.
The sheriff’s office explained that in addition to the fourteen (14) animal cruelty charges, she is also “facing charges in separate cases involving Burglary of a Habitation, Criminal Mischief and Theft of Property.”
At time of writing, records show that she is being held in the Coryell County Jail on bonds totaling $180,000 on eighteen (18) criminal charges.
The sheriff’s office said that the rescued horses have been surrendered to a 501(c) (3) nonprofit rescue organization.
KCENTV reports that four of the eleven horses have been adopted and the other seven are gradually recovering.
Brittany Janes, co-founder of CenTex Equine Rescue & Rehab, told KCENTV that when the horses arrived in early September, they were in “rough shape.”
“Bones were visible and she could tell they hadn’t been properly groomed or fed for months”, reports KCENTV.
The poor souls have only been at the rescue for a few weeks, but are already doing much better.
Janes said: “They're all expected to make it. Even the worst ones are healthy, as healthy as they can get and we'll just keep playing it day by day.”
CenTex Equine Rescue & Rehab has started a Donorbox fundraiser to raise money to help cover the costs of treating the horses.
If you wish and can afford to donate, please click here. Thank you!
Coryell County Sheriff Scott A. Williams said. “Sometimes the ideas of neglect or cruelty to animals can be subjective, but this is an apparent case of cruelty through abandonment when the owners made the decision to stop providing even basic care for these horses. We have zero-tolerance for cruelty to animals, whether they be livestock or pets, in Coryell County and I think this situation illustrates that. Our only hope is that these animals continue to improve and can live out their lives in loving, caring homes.”
Voice For Us Disclaimer: This story is sourced from official news outlets. Links included.
Details may be removed or additional information may be provided in future should such sources report an update.
Mugshots shared from the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office.
#VoiceForUs #animalcruelty #crueldadanimal #animalslivesmatter #law #lawmakers #texas #coryellcounty #horses #topsey #prosecutors #judges #deathpenaltyforanimalabusers #cruauteanimale #tierqualerei #palopintocounty #salado