Animal cruelty must be punished
Miscarriage of justice involving horse dragged behind pickup screams for public outcry
April 14, 2009
Horse advocates attended a three-day trial in March on behalf of Kachina, the beautiful draft mare who was beaten and dragged behind a truck in Florence on Aug. 3.
After a 911 call, a Pinal County sheriff’s corporal arrived on the scene and spotted a horse on its side being dragged behind a truck.
The driver and his 13-year-old daughter got out of the truck, and the girl began kicking the horse in the head, yelling at it to get up, the officer reported.
Her father retrieved a PVC pipe from the truck bed and began beating the animal, also yelling at the horse to get up.
The corporal repeatedly ordered the two to stop and was forced to draw his weapon.
The horse was bleeding from the nostrils. She had numerous contusions, cuts on the lower jaw and neck, and abrasions on her hocks, open wounds from being beaten with the pipe, and a road rash burn from the dragging.
Gordon Allen Bates and his daughter were arrested on animal cruelty charges.
Bates was tried March 17-19 and found not guilty of felony animal cruelty charges.
Kachina would have died, however, if the corporal had not stepped in to loosen the deadly noose around her neck.
After much negotiation, Kachina was rescued by Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary in Amado, where she has found peaceful sanctuary.
She arrived April 1 and has just been introduced to the main PMU herd at the sanctuary. Kachina is seeking sponsors to help with her feed and daily care.
It is known that people who abuse animals go on to commit acts of violence against people.
Bates is a geriatric nurse who, according to law enforcement reports, engaged his young daughter in the beating and near strangulation of a horse to the point of collapse.
The public should show no tolerance for such acts of abuse and cruelty toward any living creature.
We applaud sheriff’s Cpl. Albert Phelps for his actions and for bringing this clear case of animal abuse to trial, and we salute Ty Morgan for investigating the case.
Attorney Lawrence Wharton is to be commended for prosecuting the case, as is Superior Court Judge Bradley Soos for hearing the case.
It is unfortunate that the Florence jurors were not persuaded by the cruelty inflicted on Kachina and the impact this violent act may have on Bates’ daughter and the public.
Perhaps with public outcry, we can prevent such vicious acts in the future.
Karen Pomroy is president and founder of Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary