Horses nearly starved to death, man arrested

ANDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email
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ANDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - An Anderson County man sits in jail, charged with two counts of animal cruelty.

Sheriff Greg Taylor says horses, dogs, and a donkey were seized Friday at the suspect's home in the 400 block of County Road 2122. That is outside Palestine.

Horses were nearly starved to death, just skin and bones, drained of any energy.

Sheriff Taylor says their owner Ross McMorris Jr., 61, mistreated them for quite some time.

"I don't know why he even had them," said Sheriff Taylor. "They weren't serving him any purpose in the shape they were in."

There were five horses, but Sheriff Taylor says one had to be euthanized because of its condition.

"It was sad but the horse is better off now and Mr. McMorris is in jail," he said.

Veterinarian, Dr. Joe Hardt says the horses were loaded in trailers, but the one he could not save couldn't even sit up.

"It was severe emaciation and muscle wasting and a lot of excoriations where it had been on the ground for awhile," said Hardt.

McMorris put a sling around her, trying to lift her off the ground.

"He (McMorris) would occasionally pick it up with a hoist and stand it up and try to walk it around," said Taylor. "It probably hurt the horse worse than it helped."

Sheriff Taylor says McMorris also mistreated dogs and by the looks of remains found on his property, who knows how long it had been going on?

"We believe those are remains from other animals," said Taylor. "He had and tried to raise a goat. It looked like one of them was a goat and a couple horse carcasses."

While it is too late for some, the animals rescued may now have a fighting chance. They are being nursed back to health in a county facility.

Sheriff Taylor urges anyone without the means or resources to care for animals, to reach out for help.

"There's rescue places for every animal that's made and so there's not an excuse to just let an animal dwindle down and die," said Taylor.

There will be a hearing Friday to determine who has custody of those horses seized.

McMorris is being held on a $50,000 bond.

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