Mare euthanized due to head wound, foal orphaned

The orphaned foal has been successfully matched with a nursing mare.
The orphaned foal has been successfully matched with a nursing mare.

A woman in Oregon faces animal abuse charges over her failure to seek treatment for a mare with a head wound so serious that she had to be euthanized, leaving an 11-day-old foal an orphan.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office described the mare as emaciated and the foal malnourished when the pair were seized on Sunday.

The foal has been successfully placed with a nurse mare and is progressing well. The youngster is receiving round-the-clock attention at the United SPCA facility in Yamhill.

Sheriff’s deputies have charged 33-year old Sublimity resident Janet M. Spears with two counts of animal abuse.

Deputies were called to a field in the 14000 block of Triumph Road SE, in Salem, to discover a 12-year old mixed breed mare and her foal.

They immediately saw that the mare was suffering from a large, infected gangrenous wound on her face.

The wound, which stretched from the nose to the eyes, prevented the animal from eating and her breathing was extremely labored.

The foal was also suffering from malnutrition because of the mare’s inability to produce milk.

Spears told Deputy Thomas Barber that she bought the horse several months ago, and that it had a small wound that got infected.

Janet M. Spears
Janet Spears.

She admitted that she had not sought professional veterinary care for the wound, thinking it would heal on its own under her supervision.

The horse and foal were taken to the United SPCA in Yamhill, where the mare was examined by veterinarian Dr Barbara Kahl.

Kahl found multiple wounds and internal masses and noted that the mare’s left front hoof was severely split.

The wound to the horse’s face was so infected it was impossible to treat. She was humanely euthanized while still under anesthesia.

The foal was also malnourished, deputies said.

On Tuesday morning, Senior Deputy Brenda Lumley arrested Spears and charged her with two counts of animal neglect. She was booked into the Marion County Jail, where she posted $US750 bail.

She will appear in court on July 24.



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