STILLWATER, Okla. —
Sheriff’s department deputies seized a severely emaciated horse named Cody after a civil case was filed against the owner by the district attorney.
The horse’s owner, Elizabeth Doyel, 55, of Stillwater, is scheduled to appear before Associate District Judge Stephen Kistler on Aug. 8 to determine the cost and care for the animal. Cody was taken to see a doctor and then transported to a horse rescue facility, deputies said.
No criminal charges have been filed.
District Attorney Tom Lee said he met with the sheriff’s department on Monday and it was decided Cody’s health problems were not being addressed quickly enough.
According to Undersheriff Garry McKinnis, a deputy responded to complaints about the sickly horse on July 14 and then contacted Oklahoma State University veterinarians to evaluate the horse.
A report by the two veterinarians stated the horse was several hundred pounds underweight and needed further medical care and evaluation. They also constructed a four-point feeding plan to get the horse back to a healthy weight.
Deputies said they told Doyel to follow veterinarian instructions to get the horse back to a healthy weight and diagnose other possible problems and veterinarians would be checking on the horse to make sure he was taken care of.
McKinnis said the veterinarians did not indicate there was abuse or neglect and the animal had food and water nearby so Cody could not immediately be seized.
Lee said the issue will be reviewed at a later date to determine if criminal charges will be filed. He added that the issue needed to be investigated before any action was taken.
Cody was taken to Horse Feathers Equine rescue, said McKinnis. Horse Feathers director Cheri White Owl said Cody was examined by a vet and was resting contentedly at the rescue.
“We are going to work to get him as healthy as we can,” Owl said.
McKinnis said the department had received a complaint about the horse in February 2011. McKinnis said he responded and found the horse to be thin but supplied with food and water.
“He wasn’t nearly as bad as he is now,” McKinnis said.
He said parasites and bad hay could be harming Cody’s health and spoke with the owner. He said the sheriff’s department did not receive any more complaints about the horse until recently.
The horse's owner told the NewsPress last week the animal is thin because it is old and that people feeding him through the fence was contributing to his health problems.