A suspected foundered horse case near Lay has some Moffat County, Colo., residents speaking up about animal neglect.

John Lathrop, who reported the animal’s condition to the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, says he saw the horse while driving on his UPS route.

“It’s just a pure case of neglect,” he says.

Even from a distance, the horse’s hooves are visibly in bad shape, growing out so long that they have started to curl upward.

The horse is on private property off of Moffat County Road 64 and the owner has been contacted by the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office after it was reported by Lathrop.

Investigator Gary Nichols says these types of cases are always taken very seriously the incident is being investigated.

Unlike Lathrop, Nichols says he does not believe this is a case of intentional neglect.

“At this point there doesn’t appear to be neglect or someone who deliberately neglected the animal,” he says. “We’re on the right track to hopefully get what’s best for the horse.”

Arrangements have been made for the owner to contact a veterinarian and have the horse checked out to determine how to proceed.

“The owner will notify as soon as she makes the appointment so that I can be there when the vet examines the horse,” Nichols says.

Nichols says that he was not willing to disclose whom the owner is and he does not believe any criminal charges are going to be filed.

The horse has already been inspected by Nichols but the veterinarian will provide the final evaluation.

“I found the horse’s body condition to be in good condition but hooves have grown out and it appears to me that the horse has probably been foundered,” he says.

In talking to the horse’s previous owner, Nichols found out that animal was about 13 or 14 years old and it had been foundered before the horse was moved to Colorado, where it has been for the last 4 years.

“It sounded like for awhile they were taking care of the maintenance as far as the trimming of the hooves and once they moved to Colorado they were maybe somewhat lax,” he says.

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