WELD COUNTY, Colo. — A Weld County man was cited for animal cruelty after his horse had to be euthanized due to a painful foot condition, the sheriff's office said Tuesday.
John Thomas was cited on one county of misdemeanor animal cruelty, officials said.
The horse was found suffering from a severe case of founder, an inflammatory condition affecting a horse's hooves.
“Essentially, the horse’s hooves were so overgrown it was too painful for it to walk,” Weld County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer Rebeca Farris said in a news release.
Deputies had responded on Monday to a report of animal neglect at a property in unincorporated Weld County, near Briggsdale. The deputies returned to the property with a veterinarian on Tuesday and determined that the horse's hooves had not been trimmed in at least a year, possibly two, the sheriff's office said.
"The horse's hooves had not been trimmed in some time and made it excruciatingly painful for it to walk," sheriff's office spokesman Joseph Moylan said. "So it wasn’t getting up to feed, it wasn’t getting up to walk."
Veterinarians were forced to euthanize the horse, determining rehabilitation was not a viable option.