ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office arrested a 49-year-old man on animal cruelty charges after he allegedly starved two horses by leaving them tied up and unable to reach nearby grass.
One of the horses was in such bad shape that it had to be put down.
Curley Desmond Pennywell Jr., of Lufkin, was booked into the Angelina County jail Tuesday on two state-jail felony cruelty to livestock charges and two Class A misdemeanor cruelty to livestock charges. He was released from the jail later that day after he posted personal recognizance bonds for the four charges.
According to one of the arrest affidavits, the Angelina County animal control officer and an ACSO sergeant went to check out a report of a dead horse at a property in the 11000 block of State Highway 103 East.
When they got to the property, they found a brown mare named Sugar Penny lying on the ground. Pennywell told them that the horse belonged to his son, who works outside of the county five to seven days at a time and that he had been keeping the horse at his home for about two and a half months.
Pennywell told the animal control officer that he had given worming medicine to Sugar Penny on or about April 30, but he never called a veterinarian to look at the horse even though it was obvious that she was losing weight.
According to the affidavit, the law enforcement officers noticed that Sugar Penny was tied to the back fence, and the rope only allowed her a limited area to move. Although there was a small round hay bale near the corner intersection of the fence, it showed no signs that the horse and ever eaten from it.
Sugar Penny had already eaten all of the grass within her reach, leaving her on a patch of sandy ground, the affidavit stated. The area outside her reach had green grass that was ankle high or taller, the affidavit stated.
The affidavit stated that the mare being unable to reach the grass caused her pain and suffering. It also said that Sugar Penny went without food or water every day.
The ACSO sergeant told Pennywell that he needed to put some kind of shade over Sugar Penny, so she wouldn't overheat, the affidavit stated. He allegedly told the officer that he would keep water running over the horse. However, when a Lufkin veterinarian called the authorities back to the property later that day, they noticed that Pennywell didn't give the horse any kind of shade.
The vet told the authorities that Sugar Penny needed to be euthanized, and Pennywell signed the paperwork, saying he couldn't afford the treatments, the affidavit stated.
A second arrest affidavit said that the law enforcement officers also found a black stud horse named I Don't Know tied to the railing of the side porch to Pennywell's home.
Pennywell said he gave I Don't Know worming medicine on or about April 30, but did not ask a vet to look at the horse even though he was losing weight.
The law enforcement officers noticed that I Don't Know appeared to be in extremely poor health. According to the affidavit, I Don't Know's backbone, ribs, and hip bones were visible. The horse was kept in a small pen, and when Pennywell pointed out where he usually tied the horse up, the areas he pointed out had no grass.
The affidavit also stated that tree bark and switch cane were eaten that area, which indicated to the ACSO sergeant who obtained the arrest warrants that "the horse was placed in that area for long periods of time without proper food."
When the ACSO sergeant asked Pennywell why he didn't move I Don't Know to areas where he could reach grass, he said he didn't do so because he didn't want the horse to break water pipes.
Like with Sugar Penny, I Don't Know allegedly only got some grain pellets and hay every two days.
The vet that looked at the horses said I Don't Know needed to be taken to her clinic because she was very concerned for the horse's life. She told the law enforcement officers that I Don't Know's condition was "only slightly better than Sugar Penny," the affidavit stated.
The ACSO sergeant obtained an arrest warrant for Pennywell on June 8.