Local man arrested on animal cruelty charges

Parker County Sheriff’s investigators arrested a man on an animal cruelty warrant Tuesday evening after deputies discovered a miniature 2-year-old Shetland pony which is believed to have been mauled by a pack of dogs earlier that day.

Sheriff’s animal control officers responded to a call in the 100 block of Arvel Drive in Azle, and found the Shetland wandering along the roadway, having suffered severe injuries from an apparent dog attack.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the sight of the Shetland was horrific.

“The Shetland had no ears and the facial muscles had been ripped off of its face,” Fowler said. “It’s a senseless tragedy that could have been 100-percent avoidable had the horse’s owner simply followed the law and kept it properly contained.”

The Shetland’s owner, identified as Juan Gabriel Mesta, 40, of Azle, was charged with cruelty to livestock animals. His bond was set at $2,500.

Mesta told deputies the horse was not injured when he last checked on him the previous day.

Investigators are questioning the actual time frame of injury claimed by Mesta.

Deputies discovered a large gruesome scene where the horse had been attacked by dogs, leaving, tracks, horse hair and blood in the area, including in trees. Deputies also reported no water source was found for the Shetland in the immediate area where he had been tied up.

A veterinarian says the pony is in bad shape but it looks like it will survive.

Donations for the Shetland’s treatment and care may be made out to: Mobile Veterinarian Services, and mailed to P.O. Box 523, Millsap, Texas 76066. Please mark your donation for “Shetland.”

Sheriff Fowler said at this time, the pony is not available for adoption.

Sheriff’s investigators are the seeking the dogs’ owner(s). Anyone with information is urged to contact the Parker County Sheriff’s Office at (817) 594-8845.

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