Complaint of emaciated horses

Melissa Ann spotted what she believes were three neglected horses in a field in Harlingen.

One of the horses was nearly skin and bones and Ann knew immediately that she wanted to rescue them.

It bothers me to see such beautiful horses looking so thin, said Anne. You can see their ribs and their hips and they look really bad.

She feared going to the owner herself and decided to contact Harlingen Animal Control.

The city had apparently received several calls concerning these horses and told Ann that there was already an ongoing investigation into the matter.

That's very encouraging, said Ann. But in the meantime, the horses still continue to be out here and they are trying to eat the grass that's on the ground. With the drought and it's winter time, they need hay. They need horse feed.

Action 4 News cameras were able to capture two of the horses Ann was talking about.

One of them clearly looks to be in bad health.

Action 4 News went directly to the owner of the horses to get answers.

Kirby Gerland tells Action 4 News this is all a misunderstanding.

Reporter: "The other horse has something wrong with her leg? What happened?

Gerland: It has cancer. The veterinarian was here last night looked at it and said all you can do is look at it.

But it is not in pain according to Gerland.

That's why he hasn't put down the 19-year-old horse.

He has spent over $10,000 dollars in veterinary care on this particular horse.

As for the third horse, that was not around when Action 4 News stopped by.

It died, said Gerland. It got old.

Gerland claims he fed the 30-year-old horse twice a day but his health began to deteriorate in the last few years.

He noted that he has enough hay to feed his horses since he purchased 30 bales of it and 200 pounds of feed per month.

Action 4 News spoke to Harlingen Animal Control who said Mr. Gerland did provide proof of a adequate veterinary care for his horses.

They do encourage concerned citizens to give them a call.

If you that an animal has been neglected or abused you can file a complaint with:

Animal Control in Harlingen502 East Tyler AvenueHarlingen, TX 78550-9124(956) 216-5220