Parker County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested Ramona Magaly Vega, 32, of Weatherford, in connection with an animal abuse and neglect case of a 2-year-old gelding paint horse.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said animal control officers discovered the severely malnourished horse at 117 Onyx Court, which had been denied food and water for so long, that it was unable to move.
“Our animal control officers initially believed the horse was deceased when they first arrived on scene,” Fowler said. “The horse was in fact suffering alive, lying on top of large rocks with no ability to walk or even move. Its bones were visible through its coat. It was a very sad sight.”
A local veterinarian was called to the scene to assess the horse’s condition, and reported the horse’s health had reached such an extreme state that it had to be humanely euthanized at the scene, according to the sheriff's office.
“Starvation is painful for any animal,” Fowler said. “It’s a horrible way to die. This horse died a very cruel death which was 100-percent avoidable.”
According to the sheriff's office, Vega reported the incident stating a former co-worker dropped the horse off on her property about two months prior. She added that the coworker told her he would pick up the horse in a few days, but never returned. She stated the horse was in bad shape when her friend dropped it off.
Sheriff’s animal control officers reported there was a trough of water on the property, but they believe the horse was too weak to reach it.
Vega did not care for the horse as she had claimed, and continued to deny it food, water and medical attention, according to the sheriff's office. However, Vega stated the horse was walking around just hours prior to the incident, and that it had only been laying on the rocks for a “few hours,” then later changed her story.
A veterinarian reported evidence at the scene proved the horse had been struggling and suffering in the same spot for several days.
Sheriff’s investigators obtained a warrant for Vega, charging her with animal cruelty. She was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Parker County Jail. Vega was also jailed on theft charges out of Dallas County. Her bond has not been set.