Oklahoma City police accuse a Norman man of neglecting livestock to a degree so severe that three horses were found dead and a fourth suffered permanent, crippling maladies.
Michael Gene Ross, 50, was arrested Sunday on four complaints of lack of care for an animal. He was booked into the Oklahoma County jail and later released on bail. He had not been charged as of Friday.
A man called police to the 10400 block of SE 179 in far southeast Oklahoma City about 6:10 p.m. Sunday to report he found two llamas and a horse that appeared to be malnourished on a property adjacent to his own, according to a police report released Friday. The man was feeding the llamas and horse when police arrived.
Officers said the horse obviously was suffering from a lack of proper care.
The hooves, which hadn't been clipped for some time, were curling up and sticking out nearly a foot in front, and the horse appeared to be malnourished, officer Jacob Jones wrote in the report. The llamas were in better shape, but in need of food and water.
Officers entered the property and found three dead horses inside a barn, according to the report. Officers found no animal feed on the property and no working water taps. Three ponds were dry.
Police identified Ross as the owner, and he was arrested after agreeing to meet police and an animal welfare officer on his land, Jones wrote.
A veterinarian told police the horse showed signs of liver failure and will be crippled for the rest of its life, according to the report. There was nothing to eat on the property other than what the veterinarian described as toxic weeds.
The horse was taken into custody to be cared for by the city Animal Welfare Division.
State court records show Ross has two convictions for alcohol-related offenses, but no other significant criminal history.