Texas Horse Tooth Etching Case Closed

Law enforcement authorities in Texas have closed investigations into an animal cruelty case involving a horse with a profane message etched in his teeth unless new information in the case emerges.

Last month, Samantha Mixon, DVM, discovered a horse with a profane phrase etched into its front teeth. Mixon believes power tools were used to make the etchings that she said extended into the living tissue in the horse's teeth causing him to be in pain. Mixon later reported the finding to the Bandera County Sheriff's Department for investigation.

On July 12 Sheriff's Department Sgt. Shane Merritt said that due to conflicting veterinarian opinions and possible statute of limitations restrictions, the investigation was closed with no charges filed.

Merritt said that after Mixon reported the case, the law enforcement investigators interviewed two additional veterinarians who disagreed with Mixon's opinion that the horse had suffered pain in the etching process and that it continues to suffer pain as a result of it.

"The conflicting diagnosis would make a Cruelty to Livestock Animals case impossible to prove," Merritt said.

Merritt also said that information obtained during the investigation indicates that the incident took place in 2009, well before the two year statute of limitations contained in the cruelty code.

"As a result, the case has been closed pending new information that may cause is to reopen it," Merritt said.

Mixon continues to maintain that the horse was tortured by the engraving procedure and continues to suffer as a result. She also believes new information connected to the case is available if law enforcement personnel pursue it.

"I have hopes that (investigators) will be conferring with the top equine dental experts at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary medicine in the near future," she said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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