A man who law enforcement say didn’t feed six horses will serve at least two years’ probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor animal abuse.
Thomas McCarthy, a 60-year-old with a permanent address in Oatman, Arizona, was charged with six counts of misdemeanor animal abuse in December for having six malnourished horses on a piece of property in the 35000 block of U.S. Highway 550, near the intersection with County Road 250C, about 10 miles north of Durango.
La Plata County Animal Protection said the horses were “extremely thin,” with their ribs and skeletal structures showing through their hides. Interviews with people familiar with the condition of the pasture where the horses were kept called it “disgusting,” saying the brush on the field had been grazed to the dirt.
Law enforcement knew the conditions at the property were poor, including a lack of water and feed, as early as April 2018, officials said late last year.
McCarthy will serve his sentence for animal abuse concurrent to, or at the same time as, a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. La Plata County Court Judge Dondi Osborne sentenced McCarthy to 120 days in jail on the DUI charge and 60 days in jail for the animal abuse sentence.
McCarthy’s DUI sentencing order suspends the jail time if he complies with the terms of his two-year probation sentence, according to court documents. He has also been assessed a total of $4,034.31 in court fines and costs.