Man arrested, charged neglecting horsesPublished 7:54pm Saturday, December 15, 2012
A man in Dallas County was arrested on animal cruelty charges for more than five horses on his property that were malnourished and had open sores, as well as an improper burial charge for one horse.
Roger Armen Lecuyer, 57, told police he rescued the horses that prompted nearby concerned residents calling into the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department constantly to complain about their poor condition.
“He calls himself a horse rescuer,” Sgt. Mike Granthum with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said. “What he does is he goes to the stock yards and he buys these horses for pennies on the dollar that the stock yard doesn’t want.”
But Granthum said the problem is the horses’ health and appearances did not improve once under Lecuyer’s care. Chief Deputy for the Sheriff’s Department, Randy Pugh, said he estimates their offices received calls about the horses almost daily for the last several weeks and Granthum agreed.
“We kept calling and calling him and we talked to [Lecuyer] several times,” Granthum said. “We had been monitoring him — he even removed some of the horses that he couldn’t take care of.”
But Granthum said that wasn’t good enough. While many people associate animal cruelty with not feeding animals or violence towards animals, neglect and cruelty charges also apply when animals do not receive proper medical treatment. There were open sores and flesh visible from drivers who drove by.
Residents also complained about the stench they described as a dead animal, when investigators arrived they found Lecuyer improperly buried one horse that passed away under his care.
“What he did is he drug the horse to what he called a vault,” Granthum said. “But what it actually is, is an abandoned septic tank — it’s on his property that he leases.”
State law mandates that after an animal dies, other than being slaughtered for food, it must be buried two feet at least in the ground or burned. The burial or burning must occur less than 24 hours following the death.
Police suspect Lecuyer may not have been able to feed the horses and care for them due to financial reasons and said he had no prior animal cruelty charges. Granthum said some food given to horses was by nearby residents who felt so bad for the horses that they tossed food over the fence to them.
Lecuyer was charged with one count of animal cruelty, another count of animal neglect and charged with one count of improper burial or burning of dead animals. He was given $3,000 bond for the first two county and $1,000 for improper burial. Lecuyer made bond and will appear in court Feb. 6, 2013.