Malnourished Horses to be Auctioned in Clay County

- On February 25, a concerned Clay County resident contacted authorities after seeing a malnourished horse laying outside a home north of Henrietta on FM 1197.

"We investigated that situation and that led us to the discovery of these horses that were in pretty bad shape," says Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons.

That's not all they found.

"We discovered one carcass of a horse that had died some time before we got there. Of course the horse that was in bad shape and couldn't get up, it was later learned the owner put that horse down before we got there the next day," he says.

Sheriff Lemons says the owner of the horses was going through some financial hardships and wasn't able to properly care for the animals, especially since grass wasn't growing on his land because of the lack of rainfall.

"It's a sad situation on his part," Sheriff Lemons says. "Even though I have sympathy for him and the condition that he was in, but I have to do the right thing and the right thing is to take care of these animals."

He says county officials are doing everything they can to bring the horses back to good health, but sadly, he says some, especially those that had been on that land for a while, probably won't be able to recover.

Clay County has already invested more than $5000 in vet bills, feed, and housing for the horses, and to pay those costs, they'll be auctioning the horses.

The sale is next Thursday at 10 a.m. on the west side of the old courthouse on N. Main St. in Henrietta.

Lemons says it's a cash sale and all 30 head will be sold together.

In addition to a civil suit, Lemons says the county attorney is looking into animal cruelty charges which are considered a Class "A" Misdemeanor in Texas and could be punishable by jail time and a fine.

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