OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City woman has been accused of animal cruelty.
Police said one of her horses starved to death and four others suffered from severe malnutrition.
Rhonda Haynie owns the horses and is behind bars at the Oklahoma County jail.
The surviving horses are being nursed back to health at the city’s animal shelter.
“You don’t have to be a vet to know something is not right with these horses,” OKC animal welfare’s Trace Lyons said.
Trace said the backbones and ribs of the starving animals illustrate their poor health.
The horses were all found starving at the Wallace Horse Park on S. Western Ave.
A fifth horse, that could barely move or stand up, had to be put down.
“It’s very upsetting and it happens way too often,” Lyons said.
“When you own any animal, a dog or horse or whatever, the onus is on you to make sure they get proper care,” OKC Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.
No one at the horse park wanted to talk on camera.
A few said that the suspect lived at the park with her five horses.
It’s unclear how long the five horses had been starving but officials said anytime someone sees animals they suspect are being neglected, the abuse should always be reported to authorities.
“We respond when there’s a complaint,” Knight said. “With as many animals as there are in the city, we just can’t go check animals every day.”
“Most people know what a horse looks like,” Lyons said. “If they don’t look normal, they probably need to report it.”
Two of the surviving horses have been turned over to the city shelter.
They will be sent to a horse rescue.
The other two could be returned to the owner depending on the results of the criminal case.