Horse’s death leads to animal cruelty arrests in Dallas County
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Two people have been charged with aggravated animal cruelty after a missing horse was found dead in Dallas County.
According to Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum, a juvenile is responsible for breaking onto the property of Vicky Stoudenmire and stealing her horse Yankey.
“I get sick to my stomach thinking about how much pain he was in and how he was just treated so poorly,” Stoudenmire said.
Stoudenmire had been nursing the injured race horse back to health at her home in Selma. She said Yankey had a broken hip and was not supposed to be ridden.
“He was an off-the-track racehorse. They wanted a fast horse,” Stoudenmire said about the suspects.
Granthum said the horse was ruled stolen after a video was seen of the 17-year-old suspect leading the horse down the road behind a car. He said the teen was then seen riding the injured horse.
“He rode the horse kind of to a little small field next to a private school, and people actually saw him showing off on the horse out in the field,” Granthum said.
Stoudenmire said a social media video was seen of the suspects taking Yankey for a joy ride, racing the horse alongside a fast-moving vehicle to test how fast he could run.
“He was in a lot of pain, and that breaks my heart,” Stoudenmire said.
Vicky said Yankey was ridden for three days. Over time, his condition grew worse, so much worse that he could no longer stand.
Granthum said that the teen called 23-year-old Terrius Smith for help with the lame horse. He said that’s when the two suspects loaded the horse onto a trailer and dumped the animal into a creek off County Road 219.
Granthum said the suspects “forced the horse out, and the horse drowned.”
The 17-year-old has been charged with second-degree theft of property and aggravated animal cruelty. Smith is also charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
Smith was placed in the Dallas County Jail under a $15,000 bond. Granthum said he has since bonded out but will have his day in court in the coming weeks. The teen’s case is being handled under the juvenile courts.
Vicky said, even though those responsible have been caught, “it still breaks my heart for him knowing what he went through. I’m struggling with that.”
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