Care under investigation after local horse euthanized - WNEM TV 5

Care under investigation after local horse euthanized

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A local horse is now euthanized after photos posted online sparked allegations of abuse and demands for action.

Many are pleased to see the horse is no longer suffering from a medical condition that a veterinarian was treating for some time, but some are questioning the care the horse was receiving.

"The first that my office became aware of it was on Monday morning,” Tuscola County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Reene said.

Reene fears he may have a case of animal abuse on his hands.  

The sad saga of the horse became public on Sunday when photos surfaced showing it severely malnourished. Neighbors appealed to TV5 to ask the tough question and on Tuesday, the horse was put down after consultation with the owner. 

“What transpired yesterday with the euthanization of the horse, now we're trying to gather all the relevant background that we can,” Reene said.

The investigation into the matter is still ongoing, however, the horse may have had prior symptoms before the photos were released online.

"The horse does have a condition previously diagnosed, but we are also looking at all the circumstances that are related to the treatment of the horse and that would be both short term and long term,” Reene said.

The prosecutor also revealed the horse had been under a prescribed course of treatment for a lengthy period of time. However, the owner of the animal is being kept confidential and so is the veterinary clinic that treated the animal.

"There have been a series of threatening posts on social media which we're concerned about. Certainly, understand people's perception of what's transpired, but those issues are being addressed,” Reene said.

As for the other horses pictured on the same property, the prosecutor said they are also looking into the safety and health concerns of those animals as well.

"All the animals that are present are being examined and evaluated as well. And that's part of this investigation now, too. To make a determination as to what may occur in regard to those,” Reene said. 

Reene released the following statement on the case: 

During the afternoon hours of September 19, 2017 a local Veterinarian in conjunction with a Field Veterinarian of the Michigan Department of Agriculture jointly examined an approximately ten year old horse in Millington, Michigan.  Following the examination, after consultation with the owner, the horse was euthanized.  The horse had been under a prescribed course of treatment for a lengthy period of time due to a medically diagnosed condition.  Officers with Tuscola County Animal Control and the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office were involved with this investigation.

Additional investigation of this matter is continuing at the present time by the Detective Bureau of the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office to obtain all relevant information pertaining to the care and treatment history of the horse.

Further details will be provided when they become available.

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