Increase in cases of horse cruelty in Garland county

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark.- With more cases of mistreated horses popping up in Garland county, Hot Springs animal services is learning as much as possible about identifying the abuse.

Most of the calls happen out in the county instead of the city but since Hot Springs animal services cover all of Garland county they wanted to be more educated about what to look for when they’re investigating these types of calls.

“We could look at one and say ‘yeah, it looks pretty skinny’, but we wanted the education to be able to know what we’re talking about in court cases when these do go to court,” says animal services director, Sgt. Chris Lackey.

Sgt. Lackey says right now there’s a case in litigation. While they weren’t able to discuss the details, he says they have gotten more of these horse cruelty calls.

“Each call we get no matter how small, we have to investigate that,” says Sgt. Lackey.

So he and Hot Springs animal services coordinator, Michelle Stone, made the almost 1100 mile trip to Woodbine, Maryland for a horse cruelty investigation seminar.

“We were the furthest who had ever been to Maryland for a training there at their facility,” says Stone.

The pair chose the Days End Farm Horse Rescue because they work closely with animal control officers. The Humane Society of the United States was also in attendance while Sgt. Lackey and Stone were there.

Both said they learned a lot about what to look for during investigations but also in general about horse care.

“A horse requires regular hoof care or their hooves can grow and curl up kind of like fingernails on a person,” says Sgt. Lackey. They also learned about tooth care, how to halter them, properly catch horses and even breed identification.

“I learned more in the first four hours of the first class the first day than I have in any class I’ve ever been to,” says Stone.

In a county where horses are plentiful, they say this knowledge goes a long way.

If you ever have any kind of animal you aren’t able to provide proper care for call animal services at 501-262-2091 and they can help you find someone who can.

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