4/10/2012 6:01:00 AM
Joint probe finds pony did not suffer from neglect
Butch Meriwether/Courtesy
A sorrel pony stands in a corral in apparent pain from not having its hooves trimmed in about two years.  After receiving a phone call from a concerned citizen, a joint investigation with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Department of Agriculture was conducted, and it was determined that the pony needed to be examined by a veterinarian and its hooves trimmed by a farrier.
Butch Meriwether/Courtesy
A sorrel pony stands in a corral in apparent pain from not having its hooves trimmed in about two years. After receiving a phone call from a concerned citizen, a joint investigation with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Department of Agriculture was conducted, and it was determined that the pony needed to be examined by a veterinarian and its hooves trimmed by a farrier.

Butch Meriwether
Butch's Brew

A joint investigation by the Mohave County Sheriff's Office and Arizona Department of Agriculture determined that a pony corralled in an isolated area of Golden Valley was not suffering from neglect.

The MCSO responded to the site on March 16 and being contacted by a concerned citizen who reported the animal was possibly being neglected by its owner.

MCSO Lieutenant Barbara Larsen, Deputy Ryan Bridges and Arizona Livestock Inspector Deputy Bobbie Bartmus met with the citizen near U.S. 93 a few hours after the suspected abuse was reported. The man who made the report showed photos of the animal's hooves, which had not been cared for for some time.

As the citizen began leading the law enforcement personnel to the pony's location, the same truck that had been parked at the corral earlier was spotted leaving the property. Larsen stopped made contact with the driver of the truck and informed him they were there to check the welfare of his pony.

Larsen observed the pony's hooves were in dire need of trimming, and noted it appeared the pony was suffering from laminitis. According to Larsen, the pony's hooves were very long and curled, and it was obvious they caused it pain to walk.

The owner said the pony had laminitis, an inflammation of the hooves, and hadn't had its hooves trimmed in about two years.

Upon completing the field investigation, Larsen gave the owner five days to get a veterinarian to examine the pony and for a farrier to trim its hooves.

On March 23, Lt. Larsen met with the pony's owner and farrier Shaun Schmidt. Schmidt trimmed the pony's hooves, and afterward the pony was able to walk more easily.

Dr. Robin Waldron of Manzanita Animal Hospital examined the pony on March 27 and determined it would recover from the laminitis.

Because the pony was actually in good health except for the hooves, Larsen determined there was no criminal neglect. No charges were filed.

"People need to show responsibility," Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan said. "If it comes to a point they cannot take care of their pets and animals, then they need to find someone to help."

If anyone comes across what they suspect is a neglected or abused animal, they should call the MCSO at (928) 753-2141 or the Arizona Department of Agriculture Livestock Inspectors at 1 (800) 294-0305.

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