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6 Neglected Horses Rescued

In August of this year, six neglected and abused horses(Pete, Beauty, Goldie, Mac, Rosie, Shetan)from a farm in Banks, Oregon (Washington County) were rescued.
To view more photos go to www.helpthehorses.org
These former show horses were locked inside a barn, forced to sleep in their own waste, eat wood from the walls for food and stand on painful feet rotting with infection.

These precious animals have a long road to recovery, but it is a road to a better life. They need nourishment, medical attention, and the touch of caring hands. They NEED your help! Pete, one of the neglected horses, needs $6,000 for surgery on September 5th to survive. Pete's left fetlock joint had a small puncture wound that was untreated by his owner Susan Matlock and has caused the joint itself to become septic, causing bone and scar tissue beyond self repair. The only way to save Pete is surgery.

When Krissy Matterson (Matterson's Pride Equine Rescue) rescued Pete, he could barely stand because of his leg infection and he had to sleep lying in his own manure. It had been days since Pete was fed. The stallion was 700 pounds underweight and was knawing on the wood stable and eating his own waste to stay alive. He had a fever of more than a 104. "I think he probably had less than a week to live," Matterson says.

Pete will undergo surgery on the injured leg, and with luck, he will someday walk and run with five other horses Matterson rescued in early August from Susan Matlocks barn in Banks.

Susan Field of Washington County's Animal Services Division says her agency tried to work with Susan Matlock, (a breeder and a veterinarian who closed practices in Forest Grove and Lake Oswego last year),to get care for the horses, but it finally had to get a search warrant to examine them. Sheriff's deputies seized the horses. Matlock was accused of six counts of animal neglect and is due in court next week.

The Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board disciplined Matlock after both Veterinarian clinics in Forest Grove and Lake Oswego closed and pet owners were unable to retrieve their records.

Animal Services is watching her other horses to monitor their health; they were pastured outside. "Outside, a horse can fend for itself," Matterson says. "In a stable, it is like a kid in a playpen. It has to depend on someone else for everything."

Matterson moved the six malnourished horses to her Elk Ridge Stables near Gaston. When she brought the horses out, they were weak and scared and barely able to move under their own power, she said. Their ribs showed like framing timbers under a tarp. "We've been able to put some weight on them," she says. "Physically, they are coming along pretty well."

But, as equestrians are quick to point out, horses are smart and have long memories. "We actually had to teach them to eat grain again," Matterson says. "It had been so long since they had been fed, they had gotten used to eating waste off the floor."

She said all the horses were distrustful of people. One turned its back to kick anyone who entered the stall.

They are Tennessee Walking horses, prized for their high-stepping gait.

But the distinctive gait comes at a price. The horses' lower legs were wrapped in treated towels that were then wrapped in plastic. The procedure makes the legs tender and forces the horses to step even higher to avoid touching chains used during training. They also were fitted with weighted shoes to develop their lower legs.

"But the shoes were a horrible fit," says Justin Graves, a farrier who volunteers at the shelter. "In another year, their legs would have been ruined."

Matterson and friend Jill Barth founded the horse-rescue charity a year ago.

"We hoped to save two or three horses a year," she says. But in 12 months, they have placed 42 horses for adoption, have four in foster care and have six more being cared for by friends.

It costs her about $100 a day to care for the six she has in her stalls. Pete's surgery will be about $6,000.

Donations can be made to Help the Horses Fund at any Bank of the West. Photos can be viewed at www.helpthehorses.org. Let me warn you, they show exactly how the animals lived and the deplorable condition they were in when they were rescued.

Look at them. Get angry.

Then do what you can to help. They are magnificent, innocent animals that simply deserve to be treated better.

*I would also like to say that as much as I dislike the Horegonian, Jerry F. Boone deserves credit for some of the info of this article. He did an excellent job in writing his article in the Horegonian, and if it wasn't for him I might not have known about this story. So if you want to tell him thanks for covering this issue or have any other comments or suggestions, contact him at 503-294-5960;  jfboone@aol.com or  jerryboone@news.oregonian.com.*

homepage: homepage: http://www.helpthehorses.org

There is no excuse for this 02.Sep.2004 05:28


Does anyone know what clinic this she-monster practiced at?

Susan Matlock Is A PSYCHO!!!!!!!! 02.Sep.2004 15:23


I found out from various vet clinics in Banks and Forest Grove, that the clinic she owned in Forest Grove was called Forest Grove Veterinary (something like that) and the one she had in Lake Oswego was called Mountain Park. I also found out that the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board seized the records that Matlock was refusing to give to the guardians of the animals that were seen by her clinics and people now can have access to their records. She also had to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. I think that was before they found the horses. It seems that there was numerous complaints given to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board from people who worked with her and also people who took their animals to her. If anyone knows court info, her phone # or address for her post it here. I know she has court next week. But that's all I know.

Pete chewed the wood in his stall for lack of real food
Pete chewed the wood in his stall for lack of real food
Rosie, starving and filthy
Rosie, starving and filthy

Shetan's poor feet 02.Sep.2004 15:36


Shetan was not only forced to wear the "training shoes" for months on end, but his legs were also wrapped in plastic wrap, pieces of blanket and duct tape in order to make his legs more tender and thus more sensitive to the chains used to make him step higher during training.

Oregon Vet Board Is Corrupted 02.Sep.2004 16:35


Thanks for the information. However no one should trust the Oregon Veterinary Medical Exam Board. Their job is NOT to protect the animals and the public but to protect and cover up for the vets. A great example is Dr. Daniel Koller who owns and works out of the Companion Pet Clinic on N.E. 82nd Avenue in Portland. There are documents that show he has abused negelected injuried and even killed animals left in his care. He has/had a vet practice in California and is also an attorney in CA. He was charged in California with injecting himself and his wife with drugs that were intended for animals. His wife had stopped breathing when the paramedics found her and Koller was found in the bedroom unconcious with fresh needle marks. When I contacted the OVMEB about him they said he had a clean record with no complaints yet they had these and past records from California in their possession. They lied and protected this asshole.
Would be curious to know if any indy readers have had or know of anyone whose animals have been injuried or killed while being treated by Dr. Daniel Koller at his Companion Pet Clinic. If so please post on this sight. For further verification of these allegations check out the July 21,2003 edition of the Oregonian "Vet Expects To Lose License" by Bryan Denson. Koller must be stopped before he can harm and kill any more animals!

veterinary board negligence 02.Sep.2004 17:43


Veterinary boards seem to be more concerned with protecting veterinarians than doing what is right and informing people about abusive vets. There are two vets listed on the California Board website (www.vmb.ca.gov) who have had their licenses revoked and then stayed and are on five years probation, yet hold licenses to practice in Oregon. They are Sharon Zito (permitting unauthorized practice of surgery, unprofessional conduct, negligence, deception) and Grant Maurer (charges not listed, but told to abstain from using controlled drugs and undergo "fluid testing". ) If you check the Oregon Board website (www.ovmeb.state.or.us) it just says they were disciplined. Apparently a veterinarian in one state an be found by a vet board to have abused animals, or more often, the drugs used on animals, maybe have their license rovoked (maybe not--probation seems to be the popular alternative), and just go to another state and get licensed without anyone being informed. Shouldn't a veterinarian at least be required to post a notice in their clinic that informs potential clients they are on probation and which state their probation originated in? Should a veterinarian who has been found guilty of animal abuse (by the vet board, not necessarily in criminal court) in one state even be allowed to practice anywhere?

birds of a feather 03.Sep.2004 05:54


gee sounds like the oregon vet medical exam board and ohsu public safety share a common thread.they both protect the ones guilty of abusing harming and killing innocent animals.

Questions 03.Sep.2004 19:00


How did she obtain these horses?If she bought them is there any way we can contact the previous "owners" to let them know how their horses ended up. What are the ages of these horses?Will the Vet Board take action against this animal abuser even if the crime did not occur on the job?Does she practice in any other state?Please lets stay on top of this and not just let this one fade away as so many others have.

This Should Not Be Placed On The Back Burner 06.Sep.2004 08:51


Doxie, it looks as though you may be correct and that this abuse case has already been put aside and forgotten. Sad,very sad.

No! 06.Sep.2004 20:29

This Case Is Not Forgotten

This case is or will not be forgotten and will not be placed on the back burner. There are people who are working on this issue are you one of them? Have you made phone calls to find out more info? Have you or will you go to her court trials? This case rests in your hands to my friend. DO SOMETHING!!!!!!

Veterinary Malpractice 07.Oct.2004 03:52


I agree wholeheartedly with the comment that the vet boards protect the vets more than the pets.

Vet malpractice info page


Giving back... 09.Oct.2004 23:56


We can rant and rave at the Oregon Vet Board and get angry, but you can do something to help. Keep awareness alive and give your time to help the horses. Krissy and Jill at Pride Equine Rescue don't help horses to make money, they help horses because they love them. Each day they are working to get donations to cover food & supplies for the horses they rescue. Each one of the horses at their facility is loved and cared for. Volunteers help them daily, doing the chores that aren't glamorous --cleaning stalls, feeding horses, grooming, and spending time with them. It's hard work and it is easy for us to sit at our computers and be angry, but I challenge every outraged person to spend 1 hour each week calling to get donations to help them care for the horses, or spending 2 hours each week with the horses. If you can't do that, then take 10 minutes and call the D.A. to find out what is being done on the case. Contact the Banfield Hospital to find out why they don't investigate their vets better. Figure out how you could donate a few hours...you can accomplish great things, but you can only do it one step at a time. That is how Pride Equine does it, one step at a time, one horse at a time, or in this case 6!

I know it is hard work, I'm at the stables every week and I've helped get them donations. I haven't spent my life around horses, but I'm finding that I NEED to help. Our family has just adopted a horse rescued by Pride Equine Rescue. My children are learning the joys of horse ownership and seeing firsthand what can happen if you aren't responsible. We helped Pride find a home for one horse, and we will be the ones who get the greatest benefit from it.

old news 23.Oct.2004 03:46

why bother

I can't believe you people. This is completely old news (see www.pet-abuse.com/cases/2709) instead of claiming to 'write' the story, why don't you do a follow-up piece? And how can you say Krissy Matterson 'rescued' the horses? I think that you ought to be thanking Washington County Animal Control and Washington County Deputies. I know that they had to be very careful when pursing this case so the horses could be safe. It is great that Krissy Matterson took in the horses; however, don't leave out the part about the county having to intervene. And get over your hate of the Oregonian. Maybe you should read the county newsletters too. Perhaps your 'story' would have better informed.

Daniel Koller 22.Nov.2004 18:18

tshulbert tshulbert@msn.com

I had my dog put down due to illness at this clinic. Dr Koller told me she was dying.....She was a 9 year old Chow Chow. I don't have any reason to believe that Daniel Koller was negligent, but if he is being investigated I want the public to know what happened in my case. Please let me know if there is anyone I need to contact....If this individual is guilty of these terrible acts he MUST BE STOPPED!!!!


Happypom Lindanngo@yahoo.com

Dear readers,
Before you consider the article "Oregon Vet Board Is Corrupted." Please consider this, the author of this article makes numerous accusations toward Dr. Koller. Yet, the article lacks evidence such as resources nor did they cite any references to the argument. They stated, "There are documents that show he has abused negelected injuried and even killed animals left in his care." However, the author does not give us references to any documentation. How credible is the author? With the number of misspelled words and neglecting to use spell-check how rational is this person?
Dr. Koller is my number one Veterinarian. I have been taking my pets there for more than two years. During the visit to Companion Pet Clinic sitting in the exam room waiting for Dr. Koller, and usually accompanying myself with the dog posters pasted on the wall. The moment Dr. Koller walks in the room he attends my pet. He usually picks her up and starts talking her. Talking in a kind, and soft tone making her tail flag back and forth. She rests in his arms and places her two front paws directly on his shoulders. This makes me smile to know my vet is delighted to see us. Never has Dr. Koller been in anyway rough with my pets. I have even had the honored to enter the back where the Doctor works. Dr. Koller had been kind to my pets and I the last two years. He has been a motivation for me. I am currently a college student and I am perusing my goal to become a veterinarian. Each time I observe Dr. Koller he becomes the inspiration for me try harder at school.

Dr. Koller, OR Vet Board and Animal Owners 07.Mar.2005 17:46

Frank Furt sumnspcl@aol.com

I am regularly disgusted by animal owners in general. I say this because so often I find people make judgements about thier animals health, care and health care providers based on "ley person" knowledge, or better yet old wives tales or stories such as the ones I read today "the band wagon". They get their information from feed store or pet store attendants or breeders. Well WAKE UP. These aren't health care professionals. Very few people who work in these fields have gone to school or received formal education in this are to specifically qualify them to make a diagnosis or give medical advice. Yet as pet owners, you keep "eating up" every tidbit these people offer as gospel, often to the detriment of your pet. Or soak up any negatives and immediately assume that because one person had a bad experience that maybe your pet was abused because they saw the same Vet.... hmmm Where is the LOGIC???!!!

I have seen over and over ignorant, uneducated owners who want animals but refuse to spend time truly educating themselves on their pets health and care. Or refuse to spend any amount of money to buy quality food or provide quality care. As a result of many pet owners who thought they were doing the right thing, I have had to assist in legally pulling animals out of homes for their wellfare and assisted in testifying in criminal and negligent cases.

I have seen first hand how the Board of Veterinary Medicine deals with complaints and potential cases of abuse, neglect or malpractice. The systom isn't perfect BUT I have been very pleased with their ability to determine what are legitimate complaints versus complaints of people unhappy for what ever various reasons, using the board as a way to retaliate.

SHAME ON YOU PEOPLE... insist on destroying lives based on heresay. Failing to provide actual documentation to real circumstances. Your ignorance and uneducated status gives you and your complaints no credence. Further, IF there was ANY validity to your complaints the Board of Vet Medicine would have assisted you! All you people do is stir the pot, make allegations and spread untruths. Until you have completed a degree in law or veterinary medicine- or gain any other "professional" animal care or legal status... and can give an educated opinion, SHUT UP! Until gaining your new degree, if you have a REAL complaint--- contact the Board of Vet Medicine in your state. If there is something truly wrong besides GOSSIP and ILL WILL... they will intervene. In the meantime stop being cowards by leaving slanderous and libalous complaints as an anonymous poster on random websites. You are truly cowardly and deserve no notice except for a letter from some one's attorney rightfully suing you for your commments.

Dr Koller ... 17.May.2005 02:03


When our dog started limping a lot, we took her to Dr Koller at the Companion Pet Clinic on 82nd Ave and he advised us that she probably had cancer and he recommended we put her down. However, we decided to have a biopsy done and found out that our family pet of 9 years has arthritis, which we now treat with aspirin. Aspirin! Thank God we still have her. Perhaps this was an honest mistake or misjudgement, I don't know. I think EVERYONE should get a second opinion before having their pet euthanized.

More on Daniel Koller, DVM 27.Jun.2005 08:32

Jof Lee joflee@earthlink.net

If proof and legal documentation is what you require regarding Daniel Koller, DVM #5490
please use this link:  http://www.vmb.ca.gov/newsletters/winter04.pdf

Kindly scroll down to page 4 and read about the recent disciplinary actions issued by the
California Veterinary Medical Board.
These actions became effective on November 19th, 2004. Dr. Koller cannot currently practice in the state of California. Why do you suppose the Oregon VMB has not considered this compelling legal documentation in light of all the recent allegations concerning Dr. Koller. Curious, don't you think?

Best regards,
Jof Lee

Poor Horses 26.Mar.2007 14:13

Sweethearts cassidybedard@yahoo.com

I own four horses which were all rescues. I think that people have forgotten that animals(horses) have feelings too. These horses were very lucky to have someone care enough to take action. If you can look at pix of horses that have been abused and not have one thought of sympathy than you should go and lock yourself in your room because you don't have much use in the real world. Two of my horses have gone through this same experience and it took months before they responded to people. The other two were simply locked in, fed, but didn't ever get the chance to see the real world and what the taste of grass was like. They are all sweethearts and are all now in 4-H. They absolutely LOVE being outside and meeting new horses! Luckly they didn't need operations but did require medecine. All I am asking though if you like a animal and you know it and it's not being treated fairly DO SOMETHING!!! Right now I have 4 horses, 12 chickens, 2 geese, 2 pigs, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 fish.

You can email me at  cassidybedard@yahoo.com if you have any questions.