Police in Grant County are seeking animal cruelty charges after discovering a severely-neglected horse near Moses Lake.

Deputies learned of the 20-to-25-year-old gelding on June 19 and subsequently investigated the property where it was being corralled in the 13000 block of Road 10 Northeast.

Grant County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, Kyle Foreman, says it was immediately obvious that the animal was in poor condition.

"Its spine was protruding, ribs were visible, hips were noticeably sunken, hooves had not been trimmed in some time, hair was falling out, and the horse was suffering from pest damage. The horse's water source was also filled with algae and there was no readily-accessible food supply."

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Deputies concluded that the animal was starving, dehydrated, and was being exposed to excessive heat. They scheduled a health examination with a veterinarian but the horse collapsed while being loaded into a trailer for transport and it was determined the animal was so malnourished that it needed to be euthanized.

Foreman says its one of the worst cases of animal neglect and cruelty that the Sheriff's Office has seen in quite some time.

"Most of the time, people who have horses or livestock and other farm animals tend to take really good care of them. But occasionally we do see some that are neglected, and this case was one of the most severe we've seen in a long time."

The Sheriff's Office has forwarded a recommendation of first-degree animal cruelty charges against the horse's owner to the Grant County Prosecuting Attorney.

First-degree animal cruelty is a Class C felony with penalties for conviction including jail time, monetary fines, and the prohibition of future animal possession.

Horses at the Apple Blossom Festival

Several horses made their way down the Apple Blossom Festival parade route.

Gallery Credit: Terra Sokol

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