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Community Leaders Urge Public To Report Animal Neglect And Abuse

By Gaby Loria, GabyL@kvia.com
Published On: Sep 07 2011 04:00:40 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2011 10:34:15 AM CDT
EL PASO, Texas -

Angie Sommers, Precinct 7 constable, still gets choked up thinking about Jerry the horse. "He was such a fighter," she said.

Jerry was left to starve in a San Elizario field on the 1300 block of Janelle Lynne. He died Wednesday, the day after Sommers and others worked tirelessly to nurse him back to health.

Sommers said the horse's heart suddenly stopped.

"We worked very hard to save him," she said. "At first we were devastated ... then the anger set in."

Sommers is determined to find the person who put Jerry in his emaciated condition. Authorities are looking for a man they say was seen removing a horse from a white trailer attached to a blue pickup, then driving off on July 6.

If you have any information on who is responsible for abandoning Jerry, call Sommers at 915-525-5807.

"There's absolutely no excuse in the world for someone to treat an animal like this," Sommers said.

The constable is looking for ways to fund an animal cruelty unit so resources can be readily available should another case like Jerry's occur.

The horse's death sparked outrage among animal activists, including Jessie Miller, founder of the Animal Cruelty Heartline of El Paso, or ACHE.

"If Jerry's owners had (sought) help, people like us would have been there to take him within 30 minutes," Miller said.

ACHE is the only rescue organization in El Paso County specifically equipped to rescue horses. She said they rescued about 60 horses during the two years ACHE operated in the county.

"I did what I could with the resources I had," Miller said. Horses often end up in trouble because their owners don't know what it takes to take care of them, she said.

"This year, because of the lack of rain, we had a shortage of alfalfa (used to feed horses) so it got really expensive, and that's when people stop feeding their animals. The monthly expense of feeding them, taking care of their feet, taking care of them if they get sick -- it's expensive," she said.

Miller and Sommers are now asking the community to step up and report animal neglect or abuse.

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