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Horse Abuse, Susan Matlock Arraigned Tomorrow

BANKS, Ore. -- Six horses are recovering after being severely neglected and abused by a veterinarian, Susan Matlock.
"Most of these guys had so many worms and so many skin infections and they're eyes had gone flat because of dehydration," said Equine Rescue worker Krissy Matterson. One horse, Shetan, when rescued and taken out of the shed, squinted his eyes due to prolonged exposure to the darkness. Animal services seized the horses from Susan Matlock's property in Banks, where they were eating their own waste and wood from their stalls to survive. One of the horses (Pete), needs a $6,000 life-saving surgery next week. Donations are being accepted at Bank of the West.
"Most of these guys had so many worms and so many skin infections and they're eyes had gone flat because of dehydration," said Equine Rescue worker Krissy Matterson. One horse, Shetan, when rescued and taken out of the shed, squinted his eyes due to prolonged exposure to the darkness. Animal services seized the horses from Susan Matlock's property in Banks, where they were eating their own waste and wood from their stalls to survive. One of the horses (Pete), needs a $6,000 life-saving surgery next week. Donations are being accepted at Bank of the West.

Susan Matlock had a court hearing on Thursday on grounds of "probable cause to confinscate the animals." Her Attorney is Dan Taylor(Case# D043206M). There are 2 options, option 1 is that Judge Gardner forfiets ownership of the horses and option 2 is if Matlock wants her horses back she has to post a bond for the horses. The bond includes ALL the veterinary care which will be over $10,000. This case is seperate from the 6 counts of animal cruelty that Matlock will be arraigned for this Wednesday, Sept.8th at 9am with Judge Timothy Alexander in the Law Enforcement Center located in Hillsboro OR.

Matlock sat in the back corner of the court room by herself with a grim look on her face. Her grayish hair pulled back showing her cheek bones that resembled the evil look of Cruella DeVille.

The County Counselman, Elmer Dickens and District Attorney Sarah Allen, revealed photographs and footage taken the day the horses were rescued last month on Aug.5th 2004. The main focus was Pete, a Tennessee Walking Show Horse. The footage showed Pete barely being able to walk, hopping on his 2 back legs and his right front leg because his left front leg is in extreme pain. His left fetlock joint had an abcess draining from the large penetrating wound that was untreated by Matlock. Pete was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is an infection of the joint. His skin was visibly unclean and he had large cubicle ulcers all over his body. Pete is in such bad condition that he either needs immediate surgery or humane euthunasia. The surgery alone will cost around $6,000. After surgery, Pete's after medical care will cost $1,500 to $2,000 a month. Pete and the other 5 horses were 300 to 400 pounds under weight and they are only 2-3 years old.

There were 2 witnesses, Dr. Jan Palmer who took care of Pete medically when they rescued him, and Annette Nochber who is the Field Supervisor for the Washington County Animal Services that helped with the rescuing of the horses. They both took the stand describing the neglect they had seen. Nochber described that the horses have been living inside a closed barn with no windows or ventilation, even on really hot days. There was puddles of urine and an over amount of feces everywhere. There was no food or water when she first checked on the horses and there was no bedding except for the matting that was covered with excretement.

On May 25th, Nochber received permission from Matlock to come out to her place every week to check on the horses living condition. Matlock was told by Washington County Animal Services that there was certain guidelines she needed to follow to keep her horses healthy or else she would have them taken away, for example, feeding, watering, veterinary care, a clean stable etc.

On June 21st, Nochber got a search warrent after Matlock refused to let Nochber to continue checking on the animals living condition. When Nochber came with the search warrent, Matlock was not there because she was in the hospital for unknown reasons. Matlock had her son take care of the place while she was in the hospital.

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. How was she "disciplined" you may ask? She was fined $500. "That's not enough discipline for me," says Amber Heartwood, an animal rights activist. "She should have her veterinary license taken away and thrown in jail for a long time." Susan Matlock's vet license expires 12-31-04, so there is hope that she will not be able to renew it.

Matlock has been suspended from her work at the Banfield Pet Hospital in Hillsboro OR. The clinic is now conducting its own investigation into the allegations. Banfield's clinic director Karen Johnson stated "We do not condone inhumane care in any way. We know this doctor has always shown compassion to all pets in our hospital," Thats not what co-workers at the 2 other vet hospitals that closed down in Lake Oswego and Forest Grove said about Matlock to the Washington County Animal Services. After phone calling and talking to various vet clinics, it has been found that numerous people know of Matlock as a bad name. Did Banfield not look into her history before they hired her?

Are you ANGRY??? Do you want to do something about this issue?

Attend Matlocks Court Hearings:

Wednesday,Sept.8th @ 9am
Law Enforcement Center in Hillsboro

Court Hearing "probable cause to confinscate the animals"
Thursday,Sept.9th @ 9am
Court House in Hillsboro

Check Out www.helpthehorses.org for more pics and more info on the conditions of the horses.

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

just 07.Sep.2004 20:46


those psychiatric workers who inject drugs that maim and kill should be brought before public trial. btw that man who killed his wife back east somewhere was a so called ''psych tech''.fotrgot his name ,but its been covered by mass media as being akin to peterson killing. those techs are adept at physical abuse.police state protects college educated doctors of the establishment.this is fascism personified

Want To Do More?????? 07.Sep.2004 20:59

Mountain Gorilla (friend of beagle)

Susan Matlock
Phone: 503-324-0297
Address: 49835 NW Staley Rd. Banks OR

Call,fax or pay a visit at Matlock's work,(Banfield Pet Hospital),and put pressure on them to fire her and tell them you will spread the word to all your friends and the people they know, that they have an animal abuser working for them if they don't fire her.

Banfield Pet Hospital
889 NE 25th Hillsboro OR
Bob Douglas#(handling suspension and Matlock)1-800-838-6738 Ext.7176

Call,email and fax the Oregon Veterinary Board Of Examiners,who issue the vet licenses and tell them not to renew her license or to immediately take her license away.
Oregon Veterinary Board Of Examiners
Phone: 503-731-4051
Fax: 503-731-4207
Email:  OVMEBinfo@state.or.us

Call,email,write a letter,and fax Judge Gardner. Let him know how you feel about this issue (politely).
Judge Mark Gardner
Address: 150 N.1st Hillsboro,OR 97124-3083
Phone: 503-846-3503
Email: Garnettecone/wsh/ojd
Fax: (call to get fax)

Call and fax the District Attorney Sarah Allen and tell her (politely)
a large community is watching and cares about this case. It will not be forgotten! Keep up the pressure!
D.A. Sarah Allen
Phone: 503-846-8671
Fax: 503-846-3407

If you can get the contact info for Matlock's Attorney Dan Taylor, tell him what you think about him representing a psycho animal abuser.

You have Susan Matlock's phone # and address, do what you want with it. Even better here is the directions on how to get to her house. Take Hwy 26 to NW Fisher Rd.(across from Buxton), take a Left onto NW Fisher Rd and then another Left onto NW Staley Rd. Her house is at the end straight ahead, the barn/shed with no windows or ventilation is off to the right, I think that is where the horses were kept.

Keep Checking Portland Indymedia for more current info or post yourself when YOU get more info.

This is up to ALL of us! NOW GET ACTIVE!!!!!! Check Out www.helpthehorses.org for more pics and more info on the conditions of the horses.

Matlock's House
Matlock's House
Barn/shed the horses were possibly kept in
Barn/shed the horses were possibly kept in

What?! 08.Sep.2004 01:09


How the hell would she be allowed to keep her horses after this?! She should pay for them, and still have them taken away, and have her other animals taken away too. I'm worried about the other animals in her possession. What is wrong with this society and our relationship to animals? You don't get your kids back if you beat the hell out of them and then agree to pay for their surgeries.

. 08.Sep.2004 11:42


One horse, Shetan, when rescued and taken out of the shed, squinted his eyes due to prolonged exposure to the darkness.

A tragedy!!! We must put an end to this needless eye-squinting.

What is wrong with people? 08.Sep.2004 12:11


I thought that if someone was convicted of animal abuse (and she BETTER get convicted) then that person is no longer allowed to "own" animals?? So how would she get her horses back, as well as being allowed to keep her other animals? And what other animals does she have? And does anyone know their condition? This just makes me sick. I really want to go protest outside her house!

Arraignment Has Been Rescheduled For Tommorow! 08.Sep.2004 13:38


Susan Matlock's Wednesday Arraignment has been rescheduled for tomorrow Thursday Sept.9th at 9am. It will be held at the Court House in Hillsboro OR in room 301C with Judge Gardner. This Arraignment will be dealt with at the same time as the court hearing on grounds of "probable cause to confinscate the animals."

Thank you beagle! 08.Sep.2004 14:03

A Gianotto agianotto@pet-abuse.com

I just wanted to thank whoever has done such a great job at pulling the contact information together on this case. We have added this case to our animal cruelty database and plan on following it very closely. (We just got wind of it today, unfortunately). We have included all of the contact information presented in the case file (located here: http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/2709/OR/US/1) and plan to continue to post the upcoming court dates on our CourtWatch page. We will certainly be writing letters and making some phonecalls, and seeing who we can round up to attend the court proceedings.

Cribbing 08.Sep.2004 14:27


I have merely an urbanite's familiarity with the ways of horses. I have been around horses from time to time in rural settings, and have had close associations with folks who have owned and lived with horses. In the course of those associations, I am aware of an aspect of domesticated horse behavior called "cribbing".

My comment is not intended in any way to diminish the severity of the crime that the animals in this article have been vicitms of and suffered from. It is, rather, to open the possibility that the photo evidence (the gnawed edges of the stable fence boards) is a consequence of "cribbing"--alone or simultaneous with need for nourishment.

Here are some excerpts form horse enthusiast websites on the topic of "cribbing":

"Possibly the most well known stable vice, cribbing not only damages the horses surroundings, but could threaten his life. Horses that crib will take hold of practically anything (stall door, side of the stall, etc.), and with an arch of the neck, gulp in air - and grunt it out. There are several theories on why a horse enjoys the gulping in of air and grunting that are synonymous with cribbing. Most experts agree that boredom increases the likelihood of cribbing behavior. However, all horses are bored at one time or another, so boredom seems only a catalyst."

"Cribbing is when a horse grabs the edge of a fence rail, stall ledge or post top with his incisors, arches his neck, and gulps air. It is thought that when a horse does this, his body releases endorphins, natural "drugs" which stimulate the pleasure center of his brain so cribbing becomes an addictive habit.  Generally cribbing is considered "incurable" because the horse receives a "reward" ("pleasure drug") every time he cribs.  Cribbers are usually hard keepers (they would rather crib than eat) and can be prone to colic. It is necessary to use consistent, specific means to deal with a cribbing horse - cribbing collars and possibly surgery or the long term use of pharmaceuticals.   

"Wood chewing is when a horse gnaws wood fences, feeders, stall walls, or posts. This is destructive to facilities and the horse can suffer colic from eating wood splinters. Some horses really turn into beavers!  Wood chewing is common in foals as they test their first incisors and also when their temporary incisors begin to be replaced at 2 1/2 years of age.  To keep wood chewing from developing into a life long habit and to prevent a horse from "discovering" cribbing, provide the horse a well-balanced ration with minerals and plenty of long-stem hay for roughage, especially during cold, wet weather.  Horses who are satiated with roughage are much less likely to chew wood.  Be sure the horse gets plenty of exercise, with time out on pasture if possible."



My partner and I rented a Flexcar and went out to the courthouse today
to find it was postponed. Wish we could be there tomorrow.
We need to force the state to use a group of us to volunteer to
check on farms and inspect them on a regular basis.I have seen
far to many of these cases. We must put this together and
take it to Salem.
I made a sign for the car window. HELP NEEDED NOW! www.helpthehorses.org.

Yes ..I would like to protest at this monsters house!

Please keep us updated and thank you.

good idea germaine! 09.Sep.2004 13:20


I think that is a very good idea about volunteering to check on farms and inspect them. I would totally volunteer for that. Anyway - depending on the result of this trial, I am ready for a demonstration!

there are more horses 16.Sep.2004 16:17


There are more horses. I know this lady. I met her a few months back, when she started taking her horses to a trainer I know. She has brought a total of three horses to this trainer, all of which looked like the ones in the pictures. One of them is healthy now thanks to the trainer but the other two are still having problems gaining weight. They came with no shoes on but she had the show shoes (built up) put on them right away, without slowly building them up. I'm not sure if anyone knows about these other three horses. I don't want her to get them back. Who needs to be contacted?

She still has horses...... 27.Mar.2005 13:24

Can't believe it!

I just saw Sue and her son at the Tennesee Walker horse show up in Vancouver WA this weekend. They had a couple horses entered and were hanging around with everybody else. Apparently the horses are at a trainers place (David Fields Stables) and Sue told me she currently owns 10 horses but none live with her. What ever came of the cruelty case?

charges 04.May.2005 11:31

also concerned

Charges were dismissed on a technicality. We are still concerned. Hopefully this probem will not occur again. Where are the other horses?

JUST STOP THIS!!!! 20.Oct.2006 06:09

hegan behegan@yahoo.com

I own 3 horses, 3 dogs, a cat and 2 birds and several chickens. After reading this article, I am amazed with the response of the State in which Sue Matlok resides. People such as herself need to have happen to them that do on to their animals. Maybe Sue needs to be kept indoors in the dark for several days, if not weeks, with out the proper food and water. She should feel the same feelings as her horses did. And further more, if this lady still owns horses or any other kind of animal, the persons responsible for that, should also receive the same treatment as the animals did too. This kind of stuff JUST HAS TO STOP!!!!!!!!