Graphic Image: Horse Dragged For 100 yards, Arrest Warrant Issued For Abuser

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By  Calily Bien Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012,

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – Authorities in Bastrop County are looking for a man who allegedly dragged his horse for 100 yards leaving it with severe injuries. 

Horse dragged behind pick-up..cruel bxxxxxd!! Image from Examiner web page

On Nov. 10, a witness saw Mariano Villafuerta, 43, tie a horse to his truck in the 200 block of Mesa Drive in Del Valle and started to drive away.

The witness said Villafuerta accelerated to a high rate of speed with the horse still tied to the hitch of the truck. The horse had a difficult time keeping up, fell to its side and was dragged for about 100 yards.

According to the arrest warrant, Villafuerta then stopped the truck, got out and began kicking the horse in the neck until it stood up. Villafuerta then grabbed the horse by the lead rope and ran the horse down the driveway to the house in the 300 block of Mesa Drive.

The witness noticed that the horse’s left eye was damaged as well as the skin on his body. The deputy who arrived to take the report took pictures of the aforementioned injuries.

The witness said the horse apparently got out of Villafuerta’s property and was roaming around when Villafuerta found it.

The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office will charge Villafuerta with cruelty to livestock animals by tripping, which is a state jail felony.

As of Wednesday night, officials have not located Villafuerta.

The horse is currently going through rehabilitation at the Meadow Haven Horse Rescue .

News Link:-http://www.kxan.com/news/horse-dragged-for-100-yards

By Penny Eims December 5, 2012:- Man wanted for dragging horse behind truck in Texas

On Tuesday, KEYE TV published a horrific case ofanimal cruelty involving a gorgeous horse who was nearly dragged to his death in Bastrop County, Texas.

The incident took place on November 10, the day that the suspect, Mariano Resendiz Villafuerta, is accused of attaching his horse to the back of his white, Ford F150 pickup and dragging him for over 150 yards.

According to Bastrop County Sheriff’s DepartmentSgt. Ric Cole:

“He was drug at a high speed until the horse couldn’t keep up,” “And then when the horse fell, he drug it.”

Investigators believe that Villafuerta was angry about something at the time, and took that rage out on the horse. According to KXAN News, the authorities were alerted to the horrific situation by a witness who claims to have watched the entire scene.

After the high speed dragging, the horse, now being called “Dragster,” was taken to a veterinary clinic for the multiple injuries which cover his once gorgeous coat.

Dragster is currently being cared for by the Meadow Haven Horse Rescue, where he is expected to recover.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Villafuerta, who is facing one count of animal cruelty, but as of yet, he is nowhere to be found.

Anyone with information is asked to phone 911 or the Bastrop County Sheriff.

News Link:-http://www.examiner.com/article/man-wanted-for-dragging-horse-behind-truck-texas

Pastor’s Animal Cruelty Trial Draws A Crowd

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The misdemeanor trial of a pastor charged with animal cruelty in the death of a cat drew a crowd of 25 onlookers Monday, overshadowing the Bastrop County commissioners meeting next door.

The defendant, 56-year-old Rick Bartlett, the former pastor of Bastrop Christian Church, was the chaplain for the Bastrop Police Department at the time the cat died. The crowd in the courtroom

Rick Bartlett

included Sarah and Eddie Bellowners of Moody, the dead cat — who are suing Bartlett for damages, and Sheila Smith who heads Shadow Cats, a Central Texas nonprofit cat rescue.

Bartlett, who had complained of strays in his neighborhood, trapped the cat and took it to the police department Jan. 17, 2012. Animal control officer Susan Keys pointed out that the cat had tags with the address and phone number for its owners, and offered to return it to them, an arrest affidavit says.

But Bartlett convinced Keys to allow him to return the cat. According to the affidavit, after Bartlett drove away Moody either fell or jumped out of the cage because the cage door had been left open.

Moody was found, badly injured, under the tall bridge over the Colorado River near downtown. Prosecutors allege Bartlett, who last had custody of Moody, was careless and charged him with animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor.

Bartlett had nothing to do with the cat’s death, his attorney said. A five-man, one-woman jury is deciding the case this week.

Keys, who no longer works with animal control, was one of the first witnesses. She testified that while she has no personal knowledge of how the cat ended up on a walking path in the park with serious injuries, she had last seen it with Bartlett, and she became suspicious of his story when questioning him two days later.

A former Bastrop pastor is on trial for animal cruelty in connection with the death of Moody, the cat.

“I trusted him to do that,” said Keys of allowing Bartlett to return the cat to its owners. Keys later went to the park in response to an injured animal call, and took the cat to a veterinarian’s office, where it died.

Keys testified she called Bartlett on Jan. 19 to ask if he knew what happened. “I asked him if he let the cat out of the trap. He said, ‘no.’ He said he went back to the church and it was ‘just gone.’

Keys said she turned the case over to police. “I became suspicious about him being honest,” she said. Under questioning by county prosecutor James Rhodes, Keys also said she learned that Bartlett changed his story when talking to police. “I did hear that,” she said. Defense attorney Chris Dillon objected to the statement as hearsay.

In his opening statement to the jury, Dillon said the cat was fine when Bartlett last saw it. “Rick came back to the church and parked in the shade to protect the cat. At about 1 p.m., he let the cat out of the cage. Three-and-a-half hours later the cat was found,” he said.

Testimony resumes Thursday morning. Dillon said Monday he had not decided whether Bartlett will take the stand.

News Link:http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/pastors-animal-cruelty-trial-draws-a-crowd/nXqXQ/?icmp=statesman_internallink_textlink_apr2013_statesmanstubtomystatesman_launch

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