Horse owner blames animal's age for malnourished look

The photo of a sickly-looking horse sent in to Action 4 News is enough to make any animal lover cringe.But it's only worse when you see the mare in person.Her bones protrude virtually everywhere.There's a blank stare in her eyes.Death appears to be inevitable.Action 4 News tracked down the horse on a ranch just south of the La Feria city limits off FM 506 in response to the Call 4 Action from concerned viewers.Some feared she was malnourished, abuse or neglected.Juan Contreras, the horse's owner, says everyone has it wrong."She eats real well... Drinks water and everything," he said over the phone.The Cameron County Sheriff's Department was called in to do an investigation. A deputy found plenty of food and water as well as several healthy horses on the same land.As a result, he said there would be no criminal charges brought against Contreras.But there are animal rights activists who believe the horse's owner has an ethical responsibility to ensure the mare doesn't suffer.Contreras believes her health problems stem from complications surrounding old age."Everybody is telling me that it's too old... And you know... I put injection on it... I deworm her... I don't know," he explained. "I spend 200-and-some-dollars on them... Every 2 weeks on them horses... I love them... I ain't gonna do it... I ain't gonna shoot her."Juan has promised to have a veterinarian look at the horse on Wednesday.Whatever's the vet decides, good or bad, he plans to follow.Click here to join Ryan Wolf TMs Facebook pageClick here to follow Ryan Wolf on Twitter