A horse with a halter embedded in its head has been taken for urgent veterinary attention in Utah.
Authorities in Davis County were alerted to the animal’s plight by Patti and Brett Bass, who happened upon the pasture last Saturday during a bike ride.
Davis County Animal Care and Control issued its standard “five day” order requiring the owner to have the animal treated as soon as possible by a veterinarian.
Davis County Animal Care and Control director Clint Thacker told The Deseret News that the injuries were not life-threatening, and when that was the case, the actions available to animal control were limited.
“If they don’t comply, we will escalate enforcement up to a citation of animal cruelty and impound the animals,” Thacker told the website.
Brett Bass said he was appalled at the potential delay of up to five days for treatment, saying it appeared to him the horse was visibly in pain.
The potential delay in treatment also worried the Humane Society of Utah (HSU), which issued a statement calling on Davis County animal control officials to alter their standard “five day” order and require the horse to be treated as soon as possible.
“The horse’s halter has been left on for such a prolonged period of time that it is now deeply embedded in the skin across the horse’s face, which appears to be infected, causing the animal to suffer,” the statement said.
“HSU Animal Cruelty Investigator John Fox calls this one of the more severe cases he’s seen in his 40 years on the job.
“The HSU believes the owner of these horses is subject to citation for misdemeanor animal cruelty. The case cannot be classified as a felony as horses are not considered companion animals under Utah’s felony ‘torture’ statute,” the society said.
The society’s communication director, Carl Arky, told Horsetalk today that the horse is getting help.
“Fortunately, local authorities expedited matters today,” he said.
“The horse was taken to a vet this afternoon.
“We will have to see if it can be saved … we certainly hope so.
“There’s a great deal of interest from the public and I believe public pressure helped get this horse the attention and help it needs. The owner has been issued citations.”
Arky said the society commended Thacker and the Davis County Animal Care and Control department for interceding on behalf of the horse.