Veterinarian says dozens of dead horses in Logan County in “similar state of decay,” still unsure on how long they have been dead


Warning: This story contains images of animal remains that some may find disturbing.

LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – After a discovery of dozens of dead horses in Logan County Tuesday, a veterinarian said most of them appear to be in a “similar state of decay.”

We first brought you the story Wednesday. A Luther woman, Lori Risley, said she found over 50 dead horses in a Logan County field at what used to be a horse rescue.

The Logan County Sheriff said a criminal investigation is underway and they are just waiting on a veterinarian’s report to determine any possible charges. The vet that came out Friday afternoon got his first look at the gruesome scene for himself.

“That’s not a normal thing that we come out and look at,” said Justen Carroll, a mixed practice veterinarian for the past 21 years.

KFOR got our cameras on the ground for the first time on about 300 acres of land. On it, were dozens of dead and decaying horses. Where there was not a carcass, there were many scattered bones. Carroll said it was unlike anything he had ever seen.

“Why would that number of horses that is out here all die at a similar event,” he said. “That’s not normal.”

“How ugly is something like this?” KFOR asked Risley.
“There’s not words for this,” she said.

Photo goes with story
The skeletal remains of a dead horse.

Risley discovered the dead horses about a week and a half ago when she first walked the land. Friday afternoon, she walked it again.

“It isn’t any better,” she said. “They were supposed to be safe here.”

She got a tip from someone connected with the horse rescue that used to be on the land. Having fostered horses there herself, she went and looked.

“Scary thought having your horses out here, too?” KFOR asked.
“Traumatic,” she said. “That’s very disturbing to me.”

Carroll, his wife, and a veterinary student also got their first look. Carroll said all the horses appeared to be in a similar state of decay.

“That have had varying degrees of possible neglect,” he said.

While he was able to determine their approximate ages, most of the horses being older, it’s still unclear exactly how long they have been dead. It’s also unclear exactly how they died.

“They could have been here for a while,” Carroll said.

“Maybe I knew one of these horses,” Risley said. “I don’t know because they’re not recognizable anymore.”

Carroll said he will call the diagnostics lab in Stillwater Monday to determine if they can use the bone marrow from collected samples to find out if there was any nutritional deficiencies in the horses that would point toward neglect.

KFOR reached out to the woman who owned the rescue at the time. She told us in a Facebook message, “I was cleared by the sheriff twice. Leave me alone.” We are not releasing her name at this time since no charges have been filed.

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