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Animal Care Services rescues baby Longhorn and an ornery horse

January 16, 2018 GMT

Animal Care Services officers closed out 2017 and rang in 2018 by rescuing livestock — a neglected horse and a roaming Longhorn calf.

Before Christmas, a resident called the animal agency about a horse left alone on a lot crammed with junk cars, trash and mounds of dirt in an area southeast of Kirby, off Interstate 10.

ACS officers arrived to find an underweight quarterhorse, ribs and hip bones poking through his skin. One of his back legs was injured, possibly from loose scrap metal lying around the property.

The officers reported there wasn’t a shelter to protect the horse from the elements, nor adequate provisions, just a water container filled with debris and twigs, a small receptacle with corn and chicken feed, and a few corn tortillas scattered on the ground. The complainant said that youth in the neighborhood would pull grass and bring it to feed the horse. Neighbors had also given the horse food and water, but it wasn’t enough to sustain him.

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The officers transported the horse to the ACS campus where an equine veterinarian prescribed a plan to slowly introduce nutritious food into the diet of the horse that staff members have named Mack. Medical staff estimated Mack is around 12 years old.

ACS spokeswoman Lisa Norwood said the malnourished horse was mad when he first came to the ACS campus and is still getting used to being in one of the corrals.

“This is an animal that spent weeks on his own trying to survive,” Norwood said. “It’s understandable if he’s not in a good mood. Hopefully we’re teaching him that not everybody is bad.”

Norwood said the cruelty investigator tried to work with the owner, who didn’t have a permit to own a horse, but there didn’t seem to be an effort to provide appropriate care for the animal.

The shelter’s first rescue of 2018 came on Jan. 2.

ACS received a call for officers to pick up a Longhorn calf that the caller’s husband had rescued from a pack of dogs near their home in the 5800 block of Mayo Drive. She said he had heard a ruckus in the backyard and saw the dogs chasing the calf on the back of their property that edges farmland in the area.

The man dashed outside and ran off the dogs. After fashioning a leash from a shoulder bag strap, he slipped the loop over the calf’s head and contained it in their yard, near Callaghan Road and Old Highway 90.

ACS officers Joseph Flores and Manuel Flores secured the calf in a trailer without incident. Veterinarians at the ACS clinic said other than being underweight, the 60-pound bovine was fine and soon made fast friends with a flock of chickens. The calf, named Tex by staff, is now living with a foster family.

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Officer Joseph Flores said it’s something that they see all too often.

“It all comes down to if it’s your property, whether it’s a dog, cat or cow,” he said, “it needs to remain on your property.”

Last fiscal year, the agency brought in more than 28,000 animals from across the city, from suburban streets to rural areas. The majority were cats and dogs, but there were also chickens and loose livestock, including miniature horses, donkeys, goats and pot-bellied pigs.

vtdavis@express-news.net

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