The Woodward News

Local News

January 12, 2013

Animal cruelty charge filed

Woodward, Okla. — A Mooreland woman has been charged with animal cruelty after authorities received reports about neglected horses on her property.

Jerri Melane White, 50, is facing one felony count of cruelty to animals for allegedly depriving 4 horses by failing to feed the animals.

According to the affidavit filed with White's charge, the Woodward County Sheriff's Office received a complaint last summer about horses being neglected on a property northwest of Mooreland.

Deputy Coby Lee went to investigate the complaint on July 5, 2012 and during an initial visit observed 2 horses that, while having access to some water and food, "appeared to be somewhat malnourished as their ribs and hip bones were showing through their skin," the affidavit states.

Unable to locate anyone at the property during the initial visit, the deputy left the property and returned later in the day, at which time he observed 2 more horses that "appeared to be in similar condition to the others," the affidavit states.

Again the deputy did not find anyone at the residence on the property so he returned to the sheriff's office, where he later was able to interview White over the phone.  According to the affidavit, White admitted to being the owner of the horses.

After learning about the deputy's concern for the horses' well being, White "stated that she knew that the horses were a little skinny; however, she did not neglect them," the affidavit states.  Later during the interview, White also told the deputy "that she fed them twice a day."

Other deputies returned to check on the horses over the course of 2 weeks.  During a visit on July 12, Deputy Minson observed "that the horses had food and water; however, they still appeared to be malnourished," the affidavit states.

Then on July 17, Deputy Hand "found none of the animals had any food or water," and "that the temperature was 100 degrees outside at the time," according to the affidavit.

The sheriff's office then consulted with local veterinarians and took a Dr. Darbonne to look over the horses on July 21.  The affidavit states that "Dr. Darbonne evaluated the horses and stated that they were severely neglected and that they needed to have immediate medical attention."

Based on the veterinarian's observations and having noticed that the horses again didn't have any food available to them on July 21, the horses were then taken into protective custody, according to the affidavit.

The animal cruelty charge was fielding Woodward County District Court on Tuesday, Jan. 8. The case number is CF-2013-10.

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