Saturday, August 15, 2009

76 horses found starved

Animals seized from ranch near Pilot Point

By Donna Fielder

PILOT POINT — The horses ran across the bare, arid ground Friday morning and up to the fence when they saw people standing near their empty food buckets. The dozens of Arabian horses were starving and emaciated, but they were being rescued by Denton County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Seventeen other horses in stalls in the barn showed fewer signs of hope. Their feed buckets were long empty and there was no fresh water in sight. Standing in four to six inches of their own waste, avoiding pools of their own urine, they nevertheless put their muzzles up to the bars to be petted. Their ribs stood out, and their croups stood up in stark relief from their thin bodies.

These were the horses of Renazans Arabians. Sheriff’s deputies seized 76 of them from the ranch on Hub Clark Road and detained ranch owner Gordon Dennis Key. They obtained a warrant and planned to arrest him later Friday on a charge of cruelty to animals.

That charge is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of a year in jail and a possible fine of up to $4,000.

“We had a call yesterday from someone who saw the ‘for sale’ sign in front and drove in to look at the place,” said Patrol Capt. Mike Caley. “They saw the condition of some of the horses and called to report abuse. When we arrived, we found more in much worse condition than those in front.”..." More

Photo: Barron Ludlum