Veterinarian says dozens of dead horses in Logan County are in a ‘similar state of decay’, but still don’t know how long they’ve been dead


Please note: this story contains images of animal remains that some may find disturbing.

LOGAN COUNTY, Oklahoma (KFOR) – After dozens of dead horses were found in Logan County on Tuesday, a veterinarian said most of them appeared to be in a “similar state of decay.”

We first reported the story to you on Wednesday. A Luther woman, Lori Risley, said she found more than 50 horses dead in a field in Logan County at what was once a horse rescue.

The Logan County Sheriff said a criminal investigation was underway and they were only waiting for a vet’s report to determine possible charges. The vet who went out on Friday afternoon had his first look at the horrific scene for himself.

“It’s not a normal thing that we are looking at,” said Justen Carroll, a 21-year-old mixed-practice veterinarian.

KFOR first set up our ground cameras on approximately 300 acres of land. On top of him were dozens of dead and decaying horses. Where there was no carcass, there were many scattered bones. Carroll said it was unlike anything he had ever seen.

“Why would that number of horses here all die in a similar event,” he said. “This is not normal.”

“How ugly is something like that?” KFOR asked Risley.
“There are no words for it,” she said.

The skeletal remains of a dead horse.

Risley discovered the dead horses about a week and a half ago when she first walked the land. Friday afternoon, she walked again.

“It’s not better,” she said. “They were supposed to be safe here.”

She received advice from someone related to horse rescue that was once in the field. Having housed horses there herself, she went looking.

“Scary thought of having your horses here too?” KFOR asked.
“Traumatic,” she says. “It bothers me a lot.”

Carroll, his wife and a veterinary student also got their first look. Carroll said all of the horses appeared to be in a similar state of decay.

“It has had varying degrees of possible neglect,” he said.

Although he was able to determine their approximate age, with most of the horses being older, it is still not clear exactly how long they have been dead. It is also not clear exactly how they died.

“They could have been here for a while,” Carroll said.

“Maybe I knew one of these horses,” Risley said. “I don’t know because they are no longer recognizable.”

Carroll said he would call the Stillwater diagnostic lab on Monday to determine if they can use bone marrow samples taken to find out if there are nutritional deficiencies in horses that would indicate neglect.

KFOR contacted the woman who owned the rescue at the time. She told us in a Facebook post, “I’ve been cleared by the sheriff twice. Leave me alone. ”We are not releasing his name at this time as no charges have been filed.


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