Susan Marie Arnold Matlock, a veternarian, who moved to Oregon from Texas in 2002, appeared in Court today at 9:00am with her Attorney Dan Taylor. She gave up ownership of the 6 horses that she is being accused of neglecting and abusing at her farm in Banks OR. Pete, one of the abused horses, will now be able to immediately get the surgery he needs. The surgery will consist of opening up the leg and cleaning the joint back to normal and then fusing it with metal plates. Pete's left fetlock joint had an abcess draining from a large penetrating wound that was untreated by Matlock. Pete was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is an infection of the joint and surgery is the only way Pete will be able to live a long and heathy life.
Matlock pleaded "Not Guilty" to 1 count of 1st degree Animal Neglect and 5 counts of 2nd degree Animal neglect and plans to fight her charges. Her lawyer stated "She's innocent until proven guilty."
Matlock's next court date for her charges will be Oct.18th 2004 at 9:00am at the Washington County Court House.
The 6 horses were thought to be about 2-3 yrs old, this has been questioned. Pete, when first examined by veterinarian doctors, was thought to be 2 or 3 yrs old. Now they are estimating that he may actually be 6 or 7 yrs old. The horses were severely malnourished so it retarded their growth in many ways and made it hard to tell what age they actually are.
Jeannette Nachbar, the Field Supervisor for Washington County Animal Services, said that when she first walked into the shed/barn to check on the state of the animals, it was dark and silent. The horses did not nicker or make any noise at all. Usually, horses will make some noise when they see a human because they know they will get fed. These horses were not used to getting fed or loved. Nachbar also stated that the 6 horses were likely offsprings from other horses Matlock once had but probably sold. Right now, supposedly, there are only 3 horses left in the pasture, which has been reported that her 16 year old son has ownership over them. The horses were said to be in ok condition. Where did the other horses go that were in the pasture? No one knows, except for Matlock. Guesses are they were sold.
The 6 horses are doing a lot better at Elkridge Stables. They are happier and healthier already. But Pride Rescue, a non-profit, is desperatly seeking funds for the medical costs and care for these horses. If you do not have money to give, you can also help out by giving the horses, grain, hay etc. Remember, they are non-profit and have little money. So, whatever you can do to help these horses out would mean so much to Pride Rescue, and of course the 6 beautiful horses.
You can contact Jill Barth at Pride Rescue for any more info at
503-793-5422, or send donations/letters to P.O. Box 622 Forest Grove, Oregon 97116. To donate to Pete's surgery you can call Willamette Vally Equine Surgical and Medical Center at 503-678-4225. You can also get more info and pictures of the horses at their website www.helpthehorses.org.
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