Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 15, 2013

Seized horses in need of help

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Almost two dozen horses were in a sense taken into protective custody this week after it was learned they weren’t being properly cared for at property near Pauls Valley.

In fact, one Garvin County official described the situation as negligence because the horses’ owner simply couldn’t afford to provide that care.

A total of 22 horses were seized by county officials on Thursday at a site a few miles outside of Pauls Valley.

Officials made it clear the goal is to find a new home with the proper care for each of the animals.

“This is a case where the owner of the horses was negligent,” Sheriff Larry Rhodes said.

“It’s not a case of her being mean and cruel. She just couldn’t take care of them.”

The condition of all the horses was described as “fair to poor” with only one of the animals considered to be in “very bad shape.”

The case began last weekend when the sheriff’s office in Pauls Valley was contacted by someone apparently concerned about the health of the horses.

An investigation began right away at the property a few miles east of PV.

Capt. Travis Crawford said it was clear from the beginning the horses were malnourished and in need of proper care.

“There were allegations of horses starving, the lack of water and the lack of pasture land,” Crawford said.

“The owner was willing to surrender the horses,” he added.

The 22 horses were taken from about 2 acres of property described as having little or no grassy areas.

Crawford said one of the first things done after the seizure was to have a state veterinarian check out each horse. The next step is to find them new homes.

“We seized the horses and gave them to a non-profit organization we had contacted,” Crawford said.

“The hope is to have them adopted out.”

There have been no arrests in the case but criminal charges could come later.


As for this type of case, Crawford said it’s not as uncommon as you might think.

“We get a lot of calls around the county on animal abuse,” he said. “This was another one of those calls. It just happened to involve a lot more animals.  It’s always a big deal when an animal is concerned.”