LCSO Arrests Man for Cruelty to Livestock Animal

LIBERTY, May 7, 2014 - At approximately 10:15am today, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department received a”911” call from a citizen who was witnessing a man dragging a small black and white Shetland Pony behind his red pick up truck on CR 6021. The witness said that each time the little horse stumbled and fell on the road surface, the owner would get out and beat the small horse across the head with a belt and buckle. Then he would get back in his truck and drag the horse again.

Deputies Gorden Bean and Robert Dunn along with Sgt. James Sprayberry responded to the scene and located the horse owner, Francisco Castillo Cruz, age 68 at his residence at 111 CR 6023 just outside the city of Dayton, Texas. Deputy Bean ask to inspect the horse and upon inspection found that most all of the hair and skin on the left side of the animal had been dragged off by the rough road surface. There was also physical damange to the small horses hoofs and the left eye had severe damage from evidently being struck with the buckle of the belt. Deputy Bean said there is a possibility the Shetland Pony may lose the left eye due to the injury.

The only reason that Cruz gave for abusing the little Shetland pony was the fact that he was “mad” because the horse managed to get out of his stall and wander off his property.

A Seizure Warrant was obtained from Pct. 4, Justice of the Peace Berry Graves by Sgt. Sprayberry and the horse was turned over to a Houston SPCA unit to be transported to their facility for medical attention. Although there are severe injuries to the small pony, Deputy Bean said that he feels the little five (5) year old male animal will survive his injuries after proper treatment.

Francisco Castillo Cruz was arrested and charged with “Cruelty to Livestock Animal”, a State Jail Felony, and placed in the Liberty County jail. He will go before a Judge later for a setting of a bond.

According to Deputy Bean, a hearing will be held sometime on Tuesday, May 13th. to determine if the Pony should be returned to Cruz or if it will remain in the custody of the Houston SPCA.

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