Questions Raised Over Lincoln Horse's Death

Anna Ford has taught her horses tricks and she considers them big pets, like great big dogs. And ironically last week when "Penn" and her Clydesdale "Clyde" wandered away from her home, a neighbor reportedly called the dog catcher, Ellis Whitis, to get them.

Ford says her neighbors told her that her horses were mistreated.

"Well there's been at least 3 people that saw him (her horse) on Preachersville Road, tied to a horse trailer and being down Preachersville Road, walking tied to a trailer," says Ford.

Ford found Penn with scratches, but Clyde didn't make it. Just how the horse died is up for debate. Different neighbors in different locations have a similar story.

"All I know is that he was tied to the trailer. Whether he pulled back and got hung or was dragged I don't know," says Ford.

But Lincoln County Judge-Executive R.W. "Buckwheat" Gilbert says all the talk of "dragging a horse" is hearsay nonsense. He says Ellis Whitis is a good dog warden who simply helped a neighbor remove some stray horses from his land.

Gilbert admits Whitis isn't supposed to pick up horses, but he says someone had to pick up the animals that other neighbors had complained about. But both current and former human society presidents say they have received numerous complaints about the dog warden's behavior.

"As the humane society we are trying to get assistance outside to have someone come in and look at this and provide legal assistance for her," said Lincoln County Humane Society President Cathy Mitchum.

"I would like an investigation on Mr. Whitis and on his behavior. Not just on this case but on other animals as well," said Ford.

Ford says she was also never able to see her horse's body, that by the time she found out Clyde had died, he had already been buried in the local landfill.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Katherine Location: Rome on May 8, 2008 at 11:34 AM
    I totally agree that neighbors should help each other. They should have called the owner. I have a horse farm and sometimes horses get out or are let out by mistake or someone forgets to close a gate, maybe someone fell off and the horse is running loose. It happens, but this dog warden is a joke. An investigation is in order, it appears like a cover up. Horses just dont die and then get taken to the landfill???As for the comments by "Robert" of KY, you are part of the problem, you & people like you. These horses were not allowed to "freely wander off her property to annoy others" as you put it. What's wrong with you? I hope you dont own any animals. If you do, God help them because it is obvious you wont.
  • by Teri Location: Ky on May 2, 2008 at 06:52 AM
    A necropsy would have been nice to see how the horse actually died, but it was already sent to the landfill? Sounds like a coverup to me! Wonder if they body could still be recovered?
  • by Don Location: London on May 2, 2008 at 05:46 AM
    I have to agree with Ralph,the neighbors should have called the owner. My neighbor's horses get out about once every couple of months and I just call him and keep an eye on them until he comes to get them.That's just what neighbors do.
  • by Robert Location: KY on May 2, 2008 at 04:56 AM
    Sounds like any investigation into wrong doing nrrds to start with Ford and the other "pet" owners. It is the "pet" animal owners responsibility to care for and keep their animal up on their property, not the neighbors, the Humane Society or government. From this story, it sounds as if Ford has allowed these animals to freely wander off her property and annoy others, possibly destroying others property. If you are going to have a animal, you are going to have to take care of it, Free range is not a option for horses, dogs, cats or any other. Ford needs to blame herself for her horses issues, not the other people whose problem she made it. You take care of your animals and there won't be a need for a "Dog Warden".
  • by RALPH Location: PIKEVILLE on May 2, 2008 at 04:50 AM
    THE NEIGHBOR SHOULD HAVE CALLED THE OWNER TO COME AND GET THE HORSES. I OWN ANIMALS AND HAVE DEALT WITH THEM FOR YEARS AND THEY SOMETIMES WILL FIND A WAY TO GET THEMSELVES FREE. ANIMALS ARE ANIMALS. PEOPLE THAT CAN NOT TOLERATE THEM SHOULD LIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY IN THE TOP OF A SKY SCRAPER.
  • by Anonymous on May 2, 2008 at 04:42 AM
    Small town politics and a cover up. Not even letting a vet or the owner see the body because you want the evidence covered up. wonder if the new animal abuse law will ever cover government officials who cause great harm animals while doing their job.
  • by concerned Location: ky on May 2, 2008 at 03:10 AM
    if he did not kill this horse then how did it die? you have a person who is capable of animal abuse as a animal control officer. better hope your kids don't get in his way!
  • by lee Location: Garrard Co on May 1, 2008 at 11:29 PM
    In the case of the horse "dying" in Lincoln Co, I believe that the persons involved probably acted outside the statutes of Kentucky Law regarding stray livestock. The dog warden or animal control officer was probably acting without statue authority. The owner of the stray livestock probably has some financial liability for damages caused by the animals, but there are certain safety garantees due to the animals and notification procedures due the owner and then the injured person may be able to sell the animals to recover losses and expensesl. I believe that there is probably a year time frame involved. At any rate inhumane treatment of the animal would not be a viable solution. I believe that the owner should be able to claim financial restitution from Lincoln County, the Judge and the Dog Warden. I am not a lawyer but check the KRS. It sounds like a case of power of position going to the position holders head.
  • by Former Lincoln Co. Location: Ky on May 1, 2008 at 03:33 PM
    What a shame that she couldn't even bury her horse. I know neighbors that would "normally" put the horses up for me if mine were out.I would say Mr. Whitis had a one horse trailer or couldn't put both in due to their size, so he tied one behind and dragged it. Lincoln Co need new government all the way around the board in my opinion.As crooked as some of them are it wouldn't surprise me if they lied for Whitis."Birds of a feather flock together"I hope that whomever they get to investigate this is someone from another county and someone picked by other means than people of authority in Lincoln Co.My heart goes out to Anna Ford.

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