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Zapata County Horse Cruelty Case Unresolved

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Posted: Dec 13, 2012 9:59 PM

Updated: Dec 14, 2012 9:01 AM

ZAPATA COUNTY - A manpower shortage has brought a high-profile animal cruelty investigation to a halt in Zapata County.

The Zapata County Sheriff's Department investigation into several malnourished and dead horses will have to wait until a veterinarian can complete the necropsies on the animals.

"It's frustrating because we don't have vets here," Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said.

"We most certainly are very concerned with the safety of any animal and the condition of any animal," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez added they have been investigating the case of the horses on Tiger Island Ranch since Friday.

"The investigator responded to the scene and noticed that there were some horses dead," Gonzalez said.

A veterinarian from Laredo is costing the county money. Shutting down her business for one day to treat the injured horses costs the sheriff's department $500.

Gonzalez said U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said the horses may be dying of stranglers disease.

Forty horses remain at the ranch. Those animals now are under quarantine. Sheriff's deputies check on them daily to make sure they have water and food.

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