Tyler County investigates animal abuse accusations - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Tyler County investigates animal abuse accusations


The Tyler County Sheriff's office is investigating a report of animal neglect at a home on FM 92. But, deputies say what they've found so far does not show negligence.

It all started months ago, when a neighbor noticed something was wrong with a horse named Bella. The neighbor snapped pictures and then called authorities.

"The pictures that we received of the animal were not excessive malnourishment," said Chief Deputy Phillip Ryan.

Deputies visited the home twice and showed pictures to a veterinarian who ruled Bella did not show excessive malnourishment. The vet did say Bella suffered from a case of "Proud Flesh" on one of her hooves.

"It's a non-life threatening disease that's from a wound where that portion of the wound has to be cut out," said Ryan.

According to the U.S. Equine Rescue League, hooves need to be cared for and maintained on a regular basis. If they appear to be infected, it may be considered a case of neglect. On their website, they define neglect as failure to provide sustenance and care sufficient to maintain an equine's good health. This includes food, water, shelter, veterinary and farrier care.

The vet, in this case, also ruled Bella may have died from Colic, an intestinal problem which is common in horses.

"You can go out and that horse will be healthy one day and dead the next," said Ryan.

While authorities say Bella did not fit the criteria for seizure, they say there are two dogs on the property that will be investigated.

"We will follow up with that since we had an animal go down on that property," said Ryan.

12News tried contacting the animals' owner but he was not home on Wednesday.

Deputies say the owner told them he has been out of town and had someone else caring for the horse.

Tyler County does not have an animal control office. All cases are investigated by the sheriff's office.

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