Aug 20, 2014 9:48 PM by Sean Mooney

Pinal County Sheriff's Office pays the price for putting horse down

TUCSON- A follow up to a story News 4 Tucson brought you first, about a horse that was euthanized in Red Rock, after determining the animal was suffering.

It appears the Pinal County Sheriff's Office has now circled the wagons on it's decision to put the horse down.

Back on July 28, a Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy and a veterinarian arrived at a home in the 39000 block of South Marylynne Road in Red Rock.

There they examined a horse and determined that it was so sick it needed to be euthanized. Apparently, that decision came with a price.

The local equine rescue organization, Hoofprints of the Heart, was first to alert the Sheriff's Office about the ailing horse. At the scene, the deputy and veterinarian found the animal clearly in distress.

Dr. L. Clayton Wengert cited in his filed report, "this was an old mare that was down and suffering. She was about 200 pounds underweight and had severe sores on both hips from laying down a lot. She was severely dehydrated and had protective boots on both feet."

Wengert told News 4 Tucson that he recommended to the deputy that, "There was no good ending that I could see that the horse was going to improve to live any kind of quality of life."

At the time, the owner could not be located and the deputy at the scene made the call to put the horse down.

Two days after the horse was euthanized, it's owner, Omar Iguado, had a much different view on the condition of his horse.

"The horse was sick, that was my description", Iguado said. He also admitted to treating one of the horse's sore with expanding foam and not calling in a vet to care for the horse.

Iguado said the deputy had no right to euthanize the horse, especially with his 13-year-son home alone on the property at the time.

"It's my property, not their property," said Iguado. "It's my animals, not their animals, to make that kind of decisions"

Apparently the Pinal County Sheriff's Office now agrees. News 4 Tucson has learned that Iguado was paid for the loss of his horse through the Arizona Counties Insurance Pool.

Attempts to speak with Iguado about the payment were not successful.

News 4 Tucson has also learned the deputy on the scene is facing an investigation for his actions.

When pressed for more details, PCSO's Director of Administration Tim Gaffney, replied in an email saying, "Because we have a current open professional standards investigation underway, I am not able to provide further comment."

And despite the condition of the horse at the time it was put down, no abuse charges are pending for Iguado.

When asked about the situation Gaffney replied in an email, "no we are not pursuing charges."

Dr. Wengert said he also examined a young colt on the property that had what he described as a severely deformed left front leg. The doctor went on to say that in his opinion the leg cannot be treated to allow the horse to ever be pain free.


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