ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office arrested a 31-year-old man Monday in connection to allegations that in 2014 he left a horse without adequate food and water long enough that it was severely malnourished.
According to an arrest affidavit, the horse, which was eventually euthanized, also lost the sight in both of its eyes because of severe infections that were left untreated by a veterinarian.
Bernabe Montazuma Uresti, of Lufkin, was booked into the Angelina County Jail on a state-jail felony cruelty to non-livestock animals, three capias pro fine charges, and three misdemeanor traffic charges. He was released from the jail later that day after he posted a collective bail amount of $10,000.
According to the arrest affidavit, Uresti lived at a home in the 600 block of Lone Star Road. He is accused of tying a red and white paint horse in a small corral and only giving it food and water on occasion.
On July 16, 2014, Melonie Wade, the animal control officer for the Angelina County Sheriff's Office, responded to a call to check on the horse's condition. When she arrived at the mobile home on Lone Star Road, she saw that the horse's rope was wrapped around large logs in the yard, and its five-gallon water bucket was out of its reach, the affidavit stated.
In addition, there was allegedly no hay or feed near the horse.
Wade told the ACSO investigator that obtained the arrest affidavit that she noticed that the horse had "thick, yellow discharge" coming from both of its eyes and running down both sides of its face. The animal control officer also said that it appeared that one of the horse's eyes was already gone, and the other eye's lid was closed shut, the affidavit stated.
According to the arrest affidavit, it looked like the horse didn't have any fat on its body. The horse's backbone, ribs, and hip bones were allegedly visible from the road.
Later, the animal control officer got a call from a woman that explained the horse belonged to Uresti, her boyfriend, and that one of his friends had given him the horse. When the animal control officer Asked the woman if they had taken the horse to the vet, she said that her boyfriend had called a veterinarian the day before to set up an appointment.
The animal control officer then contacted Uresti, and he told he that he had taken the horse to the Angelina Animal Hospital a few weeks earlier. After the animal control officer told Uresti that there was no food, hay, grass, or water available to the horse on July 16, 2014, he said they can't leave anything out where the horse is, or it will get stolen.
On July 17, 2014, the animal control officer got a warrant to seize the horse. When they got to the scene, the water bucket was near the horse, but it had been turned over, the affidavit stated.
The animal control officer spoke to some of Uresti's family members, and his father told her that his son had the horse for more than four weeks, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, the horse was taken to the Huntington Animal Hospital to be checked out. The veterinarian told the animal control officer that a lump under the horse's chin could have been strangles, which is contagious to other horses. He also said one of the horse's eyes was completely gone, and the other was blind, the affidavit stated.
After the vet told the animal control officer that he didn't have the euthanasia drugs on hand to put the horse down, the stockman took the horse to his home until the next day. Then the horse was taken to the Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter.
The animal control officer noticed that the lump under the horse's chin appeared to have gotten bigger and that the smell from the infected eye socket had gotten stronger.
Later than day, a veterinarian from the West Loop Animal Clinic put the horse down to relieve its suffering.