By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
A Rockholds woman now faces an animal cruelty charge after a horse found dying on her property had to be euthanized Sunday.
According to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell, 45-year-old Cindy Gabbard now faces one charge of second-degree animal cruelty.
Harrell said deputies responded to an Elm Street residence in the Rockholds community in reference to a call concerning the horse.
At the scene, K-9 Deputy Kirk Mays found a brown horse lying in mud, struggling to survive, the sheriff said.
Whitley County Animal Control arrived, telling deputies they had been to the residence several times on other complaints of that and other horses receiving poor care.
Harrell explained that animal control said the horse had been down for at least 6-8 hours without proper attention.
The horse had to be euthanized due to its condition.
According to Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 525.130, this charge is levied when a suspect intentionally or wantonly:
“Subjects any animal to or causes cruel or injurious mistreatment through abandonment, participates other than as provided in KRS 525.125 in causing it to fight for pleasure or profit (including, but not limited to being a spectator or vendor at an event where a four-legged animal is caused to fight for pleasure or profit), mutilation, beating, torturing any animal other than a dog or cat, tormenting, failing to provide adequate food, drink, space, or health care, or by any other means;
“Subjects any animal in his custody to cruel neglect; or…
“Kills any animal other than a domestic animal killed by poisoning. This paragraph shall not apply to intentional poisoning of a dog or cat. Intentional poisoning of a dog or cat shall constitute a violation of this section.”
Second-degree animal cruelty is listed as a Class A misdemeanor, which could be punished with jail time and/or a fine not to exceed $500, according to KRS 534.040.