Edmonson Voice, photo courtesy of EC Sheriff's Office
An anonymous caller contacted police yesterday with a report of a neglected horse at 311 EG Nash Road in the Big Reedy community. Upon arrival at the scene, sheriff's deputies discovered a severely malnourished horse with a leg injury that showed 8-10 inches of completely exposed bone along with decaying flesh.
Photos obtained from the sheriff's department were too graphic to publish, however, one has been edited. The decomposed foot of the animal appeared to be at the point of separation from the hind leg. The horse had been unable to walk on the leg for some time. The horse had to be euthanized by a local veterinarian.
The owner, Brent Basham, 41, of Roundhill was arrested and charged with Animal Cruelty, 2nd Degree. Basham reportedly had no comment.
Dr. Travis England, of Thomas-England Veterinary Clinic in Smiths Grove had the unpleasant task of putting the animal down. "The picture explains a lot, but it was very grotesque," he said.
It was reported that the horse had gotten its leg mangled in a fence a couple of weeks back, and this is where the initial injury supposedly took place. "It looks like the fence was wrapped around the leg at one point, and that's why we saw the deterioration of the leg from the injury down," England added. "There was no material (flesh) on the leg, just bone, which basically means the injury caused the rest of the leg to simply rot off."
Dr. England said with an injury this severe, it's very surprising how strong the horse actually was, to survive in this condition for this long. "That was some kind of a horse to be able to go up and down like he was, even though he could only walk on three legs."
The doctor said the euthanasia process was quick and humane. He explained that the horse was given a sedative and then the drug was administered. "It all happened easily and quietly. The horse just laid down and went to sleep." England, a vet with 5 years experience, said it was one of the most severe neglect cases he'd ever seen. "Could it have been treated early on? It's hard to say, but that could've been determined way before now, and the animal wouldn't have had to suffer like it did all this time."
England said that leg injuries present the most threat to horses, and sometimes what seems to be an insignificant injury can easily become deadly. He encouraged horse owners to seek treatment immediately with any injury.
Deputies Jordan Jones and Stoney Phillips worked the case. "Animal cruelty is a very serious issue and will not be tolerated," said Deputy Jones. "In this case, the horse was suffering a great deal and couldn't be helped with medical treatment. I'd like to thank Thomas-England Veterinary Clinic for their quick response time and their aid to this suffering animal."
Basham was transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail. If found guilty, he could face up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.