Allegations of horse neglect in Conroe

colt Conroe investigation

When law enforcement and other officials seem to be doing nothing regarding a case of horse abuse or neglect, even after you have turned to them time and time again, you must turn to the media. There can be all sorts of reasons – in fact often an investigation is ongoing. Sometimes a case is just not to the point where they can seize the animals and prosecute. In this case, it looks like they need to re-open an investigation. The media can better look into the facts surrounding a case of abuse and neglect than the public can. And journalists can hold law enforcement publicly responsible if they do not respond to the allegations. Hopefully answers, action and justice will be served soon. ~ HfH

By: Phil Archer

colt Conroe investigation

A colt from the facility that died from starvation.

Conroe, Texas – More than 30 horses have died at a Conroe horse breeding facility in the last four months due to malnourishment and neglect, according to former employees. The owner has denied those allegations. The Montgomery County district attorney is investigating.

At least five former employees of Premium Star Ranch contend many of the approximately 200 horses on the property do not receive adequate feed or veterinary care.

“Most of them are emaciated, their tail bones are sticking out, their rib bones, their back bones; you name it you can count every bone on their body,” former employee Kayla Kidd told Channel 2 News Tuesday.

Kidd and several other employees quit their jobs Saturday after they say the ranch owner, Herman Hoffman, fired two shots into the ground from a small caliber pistol after becoming angry. Hoffman says he fired the shots to demonstrate to his wife that the gun was loaded. Montgomery County Precinct 5 deputy constables responded to the disturbance, but made no arrests.

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Kidd and former employee Bridget Monnich said more than 30 horses from the ranch have died under questionable circumstances since March. The most recent case involves a 3-month-old colt that was turned over to self-described animal rescuer Cristal Griffiths on Saturday. Griffith took the horse to a veterinarian in Navasota, but says he was already too far gone to be saved.

“He was extremely emaciated with rain rot, lice all over his body, he could barely walk, barely stand,” Griffith said. “He died within a few hours.”

The veterinarian’s report states that the horse weighed 94 pounds, when a normal weight for a horse his age would have been between 150 to 175 pounds. The report goes on to say: “This colt appears to have been starved to the point of death.” 

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
1 Comment
  • Gail Wiot

    Humane laws differ in each state. As a past hooved investigator these actions can be a part of this work. I always took law enforcement with me for this reason. People must understand that the majority of county Officers and other law enforcement officers are not trained in humane work. It could take up to 2 or 3 visits to get an impoundment from the states Dept of agriculture. You can also call one of
    the major humane societies. They have investigators that can respond immediately to such calls. This is a major problem in humane work because people do not want to report them before it is too late. One can only hope he is charged with major violations.

    June 24, 2015