Criminal charges filed in horse death, starvation case

BRYANT, Ind. - The Jay County prosecutor filed four charges of animal cruelty against Karen Barron, of 650 W. 650 in Bryant, Ind., on Wednesday.

As Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported in November , authorities found one horse at Barron's property was in such poor condition it had to be euthanized and was taken to Purdue University for a necropsy.

"The horse was starved to death," according to the probable cause report obtained by Kenney Thursday. "The Bay gelding was infested with parasites, had an abscess in its colon, and had serous atrophy of fat."

Authorities also found several other horses in poor condition, and four were taken to Shadarobah Horse Rescue in Allen County.

According to the probable cause, a veterinarian examination of the several horses showed issues like malnutrition, parasitism, ulcerations, pneumonia and skin problems.

Indiana State Police Master Trooper Kurt Jack conducted interviews with neighbors and former employees of Barron.

"Most agree that the horses were very skinny, did not receive the proper amount of hay or water and lacked shelter," read the probable cause. "Most of the people that worked for Barron quit because of not getting paid or did not agree with the amount of food available for the horses."

Although a warrant has been issued, Barron has yet to be arrested.

She is a truck driver and is not home very often, according to the probable cause.

Animal cruelty is a Class A misdemeanor.

It's not immediately clear if additional horses still remain on Barron's property.

Wesley A. Schemenaur, Jay County Prosecuting Attorney, told Kenney Thursday it took time to conclude the horses were malnourished and starving.

"We wanted to make sure we can show that the horse died due to a reckless or intentional act rather than an illness," said Schemenaur. "The other counts relate to other horses that lived but were suffering."

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