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Cruelty to Horses

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This section contains law cases that deal with cruelty to horses. It includes cases on horse tripping as a rodeo event and the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses as well as other forms of cruelty to horses.

There is another section of this site that deals with cruelty to horses and other animals. Select "Statutes for Horsemen: Cruelty to Animals Acts" for a comprehensive collection of state statutes dealing with cruelty to animals.

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Texas Attorney General (1994) Attorney General opinion on horse tripping
New York Trial Court (1994) AHSA suspension of horse killer

U.S. Court of Appeals (1995) Soring of Tennessee Walking Horse
U.S. Court of Appeals (1995) Soring of Tennessee Walking Horse
U.S. Court of Appeals (1995) Sentencing of horse killer
U.S. Court of Appeals (1995) Tennessee Walking Horse not sored
U.S. Court of Appeals (1995) Testing for soring of Tennessee Walking Horse
U.S. Court of Appeals (1995) Owner cleared of soring Tennessee Walker

Ohio Court of Appeals (1996) Criminal prosecution for horse under-feeding
U.S. Court of Appeals (1996) When owner liable for allowing sored horse to be shown discussed
Wisconsin Court of Appeals (1996) Criminal prosecution for horse starvation

Oregon Court of Appeals (1997) Dog ordered destroyed for chasing horse
Texas Court of Appeals (1997) Association not liable for lawsuit against USDA about horse soring

United States Court of Appeals (1999)  Insurance fraud conviction for killing horse upheld
Ohio Court of Appeals (1999) Cruelty conviction for malnourishing two horses upheld
Oklahoma Attorney General (1999) "Money Hunt" of animals with hounds violates gambling laws

Indiana Court of Appeals (2000) $11,000 order for care of three seized horses upheld
New York Appellate Division (2000) Lawsuit against officials who seized horses dismissed
Ohio Court of Appeals (2000) Humane Society uses governmental powers in seizing horses
Oregon Court of Appeals (2000) Acquitted horse owner cannot appeal from order forfeiting 12 equines
New York Appellate Division (2000) Claim that forced euthanization violates religious belief mooted
New York Trial Court (2000) Horse killer permanently bared from AHSA shows
U.S. District Court Illinois (2000) Officer not liable for seizure without warrant under statute
Montana Supreme Court (2000) Videotape of neglected horses lawful because taken from public land

Kentucky Court of Appeals (2001) Damages awarded to punish caretaker who sold horses to slaughter
Minnesota Court of Appeals (2001) Owner had charge and control of horses pastured elsewhere
U.S. District Court, D.C. (2001) Tennessee Walking Horse industry intervenes in lawsuit challenging soring regs
Iowa Supreme Court (2001) Only one offense of serious neglect from death of two horses
U.S. Court of Appeals (2001) Volunteer violated constitutional rights in seizing horses without court order
Oregon Supreme Court (2001) Acquitted horse owner can appeal from order forfeiting 12 equines
U.S. Court of Appeals (2001) Conviction for killing wild horse upheld on appeal
Colorado Court of Appeals (2001) Torture adjudication for painting hair removal on horse affirmed
Mississippi Supreme Court (2001) Cruelty to animals statute unconstitutional because vague

North Carolina Court of Appeals (2002) Seizure of neglected horses in pasture without search warrant was unlawful
Oregon Court of Appeals (2002)
Horses are forfeited to Humane Society to pay for care even though owner found not guilty
U.S. District Court Kansas (2002) Lawsuit against officials who seized horses dismissed on official immunity grounds
U.S. Court of Appeals (2002) Lawsuit challenging soring penalty dismissed because filed too late
Alaska Court of Appeals (2002) Judge creates lien on seized animals to secure payment of rescue society care expenses
U.S. District Court, Kansas (2002) Federal lawsuit against animal control officer and prosecutor for horse seizure dismissed
Texas Attorney General (2002) Texas law makes slaughter of horses for human consumption a criminal offense
Texas Court of Appeals (2002) Forfeiture of cattle set aside when wrong person sued as owner
Ohio Court of Appeals (2002) Remark by judge does not require reversing six convictions for cruelty to horses
California Court of Appeals (2002) Cruelty conviction upheld despite error in admitting evidence of refusal to permit entry on land

Texas Court of Appeals (2003) Court upholds conviction for cruelty to horses leading to death of one horse
Texas Court of Appeals (2003) Court upholds order taking ownership of horses away on grounds of cruelty
Delaware Court of Common Pleas (2003) SPCA officer's entry into rented stall without a search warrant was illegal

Washington Court of Appeals (2004) Lack of dental care and malnutrition caused cruelty by physical pain
Michigan Court of Appeals (2004) One who threw firecracker into barn, burning it down and killing horses is guilty of cruelty
Vermont Supreme Court (2004) Humane society's seizure of horse without court order was valid

U.S. District Court Iowa (2004) Seizure of horses by Animal Control without court order was valid
City of New York Criminal Court (2004) Failing to provide veterinary care for tumor in dog does not violate cruelty statute
North Carolina Court of Appeals (2004) Cruelty convictions for malnourishment of horses upheld
California Court of Appeals (2004) Felony cruelty convictions in the deaths of two horses and conditions of another three upheld
California Court of Appeals (2004) Convictions for cruelty to nine horses upheld

California Court of Appeals (2004) Search for sick horses under administrative search warrant was lawful

U.S. District Court Pennsylvania (2005) Court allows claims based on 4th and 14th Amendments against Humane Society

U.S. Court of Appeals (2005) Animal control officer can reasonably rely on on-scene recommendation of veterinarian

Kentucky Court of Appeals (2005) Costs of care of neglected horses upheld with warning of self-representation

U.S. District Court, Tennessee (2005) Suit for abuse of power based on arrest for accepting horses involved in cruelty case fails

California Court of Appeal (2006)  Dispute over method of disposal of remains unsuccessful
Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (2006) Verdict modified due to attorneys bickering
Missouri Court of Appeals (2006)  Dragging colt behind van to halter break held cruel
U.S. Court of Appeals (2006)  Complained action of BLM not agency action
U.S. Court of Appeals (2006)  Review of double suspension for soring walking horses denied
U.S. District Court Texas (2006)  Horse rental operator defeated for lack of jurisdiction
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit (2006)  Severance of one defendant representing himself permissible
Delaware Court of Common Pleas (2006)  Court upholds SPCA's ownership and right to place horses for adoption

U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit (2007)  Examination by three officials sufficient for a determination of "sore."
Pennsylvania Superior Court (2007)  Couple's conviction of taunting a police animal affirmed.
U.S. Court of Appeals (2007)  Horse slaughter houses in violation of Texas law
U.S. Court of Appeals (2007)  Despite inaccuracies in forms, decision finding horse sore affirmed.
U.S. Court of Appeals (2007)  Exhibitors must permit inspection of a Tennessee Walking horse even if he believes it to be unreasonable.
Wisconsin Court of Appeals (2007)  Seizure of 32-year-old horse for neglect unwarranted.
U.S. District Court Maryland (2007)  Plaintiff allowed to proceed against S.P.C.A. officers for malicious prosecution.
Indiana Court of Appeals (2007)  Statute authorizes restitution of cost of care to state.
North Carolina Court of Appeals (2007)  Horse dies after feed withheld as part of training method.
Ohio Court of Appeals (2007)  Donated horses go missing.