3 Malnourished Horses Seized from New River Woman

malnourished horse
One of the malnourished horses seized in New River. Photos by MCSO

A woman in New River could face three counts of animal cruelty charges related to three malnourished horses seized by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Animal Crimes Unit. The woman said she was relying on “hobos” and “transients” to take care of the animals.

One of the skinny horses “may not live,” MCSO Detective Dave Evans said today.

The woman has not been arrested, MCSO said. Charges could stem, however, from failing to provide medical treatment to the animals, the sheriff’s department said in a statement. The investigation is ongoing.

“All the bone structure is easily noticeable and the tail, head, and hook bones are prominently projecting with the ribs,” according to a diagnosis from a veterinarian, MCSO said. The horses have been turned over to Durango Equine Veterinary Clinic and are actively receiving emergency assistance.


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The situation was discovered Sept. 13 when detectives responded to a tip on the MCSO Animal Crimes Hotline of “skinny horse” at 46855 N. New River Road. The individuals at that address owned the property but not the animals and referred MCSO to their absentee owner.

According to MCSO:

“When contacted, the owner said she knew the horses were sick and underweight and admitted they had not received medical care in at least 18 months. The owner said she had trusted others — people she described as “hobos” and “transients” — to do the work, and they had failed. She allowed detectives and a veterinarian to do a medical assessment, but refused to sign over the animals. MCSO obtained a search warrant and seized them.”

MCSO did not release the woman’s name.

“If you own a house pet or any animal, you are personally responsible for making sure they’re fed and receive proper veterinary care,” said Sheriff Paul Penzone. “Report situations like this one to the MCSO Animal Crimes Hotline at 602-876-1681.” Discuss This Article on Facebook >>>

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North Phoenix News staff writers and editors often work together to produce articles like this one.

Staff Writers

North Phoenix News staff writers and editors often work together to produce articles like this one.

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