Pharos-Tribune

Local News

July 15, 2013

Animal neglect not found at Cass County residence

Vet checks out animals shown in Facebook video

After a video posted to Facebook drew attention to complaints of animal mistreatment, a local veterinarian has concluded the animals in question aren't neglected — their owner just needed some guidance.

A video posted to the Pharos-Tribune's Facebook page July 5 garnered 370 shares within one week. The 5 minute, 33 second video shows someone commentating on the state of three horses and two calves on a property in Cass County.

Local officials responded to the complaints of animal mistreatment and visited the location but determined neglect wasn't the case.

Animal control received a call July 5. Dr. Chris Ciotta, who runs the Cass County Animal Hospital, visited the residence Tuesday.

Brian Hyder, animal control officer, declined to comment on the case.

Ciotta determined the animals were not neglected, talked to the animal owner and went over some things he could improve. Although one of the horses was thin, it was not determined malnourished, he said.

“I would not say they are neglected; I would just say the owner needed direction,” Ciotta said. “He seemed very receptive to the advice.”

There was feed out for the animals, but it wasn’t the best quality, Ciotta said.

The owner, Scott Hunter, said he still lives on the property and stayed somewhere else last week while a new roof was put on his residence. While he was gone he had someone feed his horses, he said.

There are three horses — Nacho, Sunny and Beer — and two calves on the property, Hunter said. He has had Nacho for four years, Sunny for three years, Beer for a year and the two calves for a few months, he said.

"Dr. Ciotta speaks for himself and would be the first one to say something if there was something wrong here," Hunter said.

During Ciotta's visit, the horses and calves were interactive and didn’t seem sluggish or depressed, Ciotta said.

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