Texas Animal Welfare Officials Investigating Horse Abuse Allegations

Animal-welfare officials said Friday they are investigating a report a horse was shot at an event earlier this month near Whitesboro, Texas.

The Dallas-based SPCA of Texas is looking into an anonymous tip that an individual shot his or her own horse on Saturday, July 15, said Maura Davies, the agency’s vice president of communications. The report was received Thursday, July 20.

“I can confirm that the SPCA of Texas’s Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit is investigating an alleged incident of an individual shooting their own horse at an event in Whitesboro, Texas,” Davies said.

She would not identify the discipline involved. However, officials from the Muenster Cutting Horse Association, a National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) affiliate organization in Texas, say they informed the NCHA of allegations of horse abuse happening on that same day – July 15 – at a cutting near Whitesboro.

“Show management reported the incident to the NCHA, and we’re confident the NCHA will do a thorough investigation and handle the matter in the proper way,” said Billy Emerson, a member of the Muenster Cutting Horse Association’s board of directors.

It is unclear if the allegations have been reported to local sheriff’s deputies.

Davies, of the SPCA, did not release the name of the accused or any additional details, including the type of gun allegedly involved or whether the horse was injured, citing the active nature of the investigation.

“Those are the details I can release right now, and it is all alleged at this point,” she said. “But, yes, we are investigating and taking it very seriously.”

The SPCA of Texas primarily investigates allegations of animal abuse in seven North Texas counties – Dallas, Ellis, Grayson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman and Van Zandt – but does take on cases outside those jurisdictions, Davies said.

The outcome of SPCA investigations can range from owner education to court-ordered seizure of the animal or criminal proceedings.