Whitley Sheriff calls horse abuse case a 'cruel thing'

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WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a case that shakes even the most experienced investigators, Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said, "It was just treated in an obvious cruel manner."

On Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Sheriff Harrell said his K9 Deputy was called to a house on Elm Street in the Rockholds community for a horse that was stuck in the mud. When the deputy arrived, the horse wasn't doing well.

"He (the deputy) didn't handle it very well because he, like myself, is an animal lover and to see an animal treated in this mannerism, citing them is not enough!" said Sheriff Harrell.

The pictures are too graphic to show you, but the Sheriff described the animals condition, "You could see the ribs, there was blood coming from the mouth, the nose. It was just in pitiful shape."

Investigators believe the horse was laying there for six to eight hours without the proper attention. Sheriff Harrell said the animal was, "so weak that it couldn't come out of the mud."

When the animal control officers came to the house, the only thing they could do was put the horse down.

"Just a cruel thing," summarized the Sheriff.

The house sits right in the middle of Rockholds, right by the post office, in fact the Sheriff says this isn't the first time the Whitley County Animal Control has been called to the house about the horse.

"I don't have the number but they had responded to this location, to these people, a couple of times within the last six months."

The owner, who the Sheriff identified as Cindy Gabbard, is cited for animal cruelty. We sought Gabbard out but no one was at the house to respond.

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