Man Charged with Cruelty for Overworking Laminitic Horse

A New York man is facing charges for allegedly riding a barefoot laminitic horse over several miles, causing injuries so severe that the animal was later euthanized.

Oneonta Police Department Spokesman Lt. Douglas Brenner said that on Nov. 18 department personnel responded to a report that a man riding through a residential neighborhood was whipping a horse. Upon arrival, officers noticed that the animal appeared to be thin and that that one of its feet appeared to be injured.

"She (the horse) seemed to be favoring one foot and we knew something was wrong so we called a veterinarian," Brenner said.

Upon examination, the veterinarian diagnosed the animal with laminitis and rated her body condition a 2 out of 9 on the Henneke Body Condition Scale, Brenner said. The horse was taken to a local equine clinic for treatment, but was later euthanized due to the severity of its injuries with permission from her original owner, he said.

Police charged the horse's rider, Donald Lane, with one count of misdemeanor injuring or torturing an animal under New York state's Agriculture and Market law, Brenner said.

"We found that out that another owner had given Mr. Lane the horse on the condition that it would never be ridden," Brenner said.

Lane was unavailable for comment.

The case remains pending.

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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