State investigators look for owner of injured horse

A horse that a woman said she found tied up and dead in the middle of the road near Tonopah is recovering from its injuries.

The state will auction off the horse next week, but investigators are still searching for the owner of the horse and they say criminal charges could be filed.

By law, the state has to keep stray horses for seven days, since no owner came forward the horse will be auctioned off next week.

The state wants to know what happened to the horse, and they say criminal charges could be filed.

"She has been doing a lot better, we can definitely tell the difference in her," said Leatta McLaughlin.

Leatta McLaughlin is the Associate Director of Animal Services for the State Department of Agriculture, she says the battered and malnourished brown mare from Tonopah is now healing and putting on weight.

"She at this point is getting fed four times a day, getting doctors twice a day, and she's even getting to be a little spunky," she said.

FOX 10 first showed you the injured horse earlier this month after a woman said she found it tied up, in a metral contraption lying in the road at 331st Avenue and Sunland in Tonopah.

The horse had wounds all over its body.

"They maybe look like pet wounds from a rope or something, but at this point we don't specifically know, we can just guess as to how it occured," said McLaughlin.

The Arizona Dept of Agriculture took the horse and began investigating.

"She didn't have any identifiable marks, a lot of livestock you'll see brands on horses, you'll see lip tattoos, unfortunately she didn't have anything like that so this is more of a grassroots effort. We're looking for people in the community, in the area and people who know horses, maybe they can come forward let us know if they have seen her before," she said.

The horse will be auctioned off next week, but McLaughlin said the case doesn't end there.

"This case will not be dropped, we will still try to locate the owner at this point... depending on the circumstances and how the case goes this could definitely have criminal charges behind it," said McLaughlin.

The auction will take place in Buckeye on Tuesday. If you have any information on who the owner might be, call the Department of Agriculture at 623-445-0281.
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