STILLWATER, Okla. —
A decision whether to file criminal charges against the owner of an emaciated horse hinges on a veterinarian’s pending report on the cause of the animal’s severe weight loss, District Attorney Tom Lee said Thursday.
An initial examination by two Oklahoma State University veterinarians revealed the horse was 300 to 400 pounds underweight.
What is not a factor in the decision, Lee said, is the owner’s history of animal cruelty.
“What matters is this particular horse’s condition at this particular time,” Lee said.
Elizabeth Doyel, 55, of Stillwater, lost her veterinary license in 1997. Documents obtained from the Oklahoma Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners show the license was revoked after inspectors found her facility at 220 W. McElroy Road to be, “in a condition that constitutes a serious health threat to the public and to patients, and which constitutes cruelty to animals entrusted” in her care.
Kathy Kirkpatrick, executive director of the examiner’s office, said Doyel has not held a veterinary license since it was revoked. There was no indication of any criminal charges being filed in the 1997 event.
Doyel, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, told the NewsPress in 1997 that her clinic had flooded due to a clogged drain in the storage room the night before the inspection. She said she threw away anything touched by the wastewater and worked through the night to clean up the mess. She finished shortly before the inspector came in the morning.
Doyel’s horse, Cody, was seized by deputies this week after the district attorney’s office filed a civil suit against the owner and the court ordered the horse removed and given care.
Doyel is scheduled to appear before Associate District Judge Stephen Kistler Wednesday to determine the cost and care for the animal. Cody was taken to be examined by a veterinarian and then transported to Horse Feathers Equine Rescue in Guthrie.
Payne County deputies were notified by concerned passersby who noticed Cody’s thin body. The horse had been reported to the sheriff’s office last year but his condition has deteriorated since.
Cody was examined by two OSU veterinarians who determined him to be “grossly underweight” and in poor health, they reported to law enforcement agents. The cause of the weight loss is unknown, a report by the veterinarians shows.
Doyel told the NewsPress last week the horse's condition is due to age and colic problems. She said people feeding the animal through the fence have contributed to his health woes.