Horse owner found guilty of animal cruelty, while horse makes remarkable comeback

A Merced County horse named Mr. T has made a great recovery in the past 14 months after being a victim of animal cruelty.
A Merced County horse named Mr. T has made a great recovery in the past 14 months after being a victim of animal cruelty. Merced County Sheriff's Office

A kind gesture from a Merced County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Supervisor has saved the life of a horse named Mr. T.

Merced County Sheriffls’ Office Animal Service officers were alerted of a possible animal cruelty of a horse on May 30, 2018 on Gun Club road in the Gustine area.

The person reporting the crime said one of the horses on the property “looked as if it was going to die.”

Animal Service officers arrived to find a white and gray colored horse named Mr. T. The horse was extremely emaciated with open wounds all over his body.

Animal Service officer Adriana DeSousa and Animal Service Supervisor Lauren Perry attempted to contact the owner of the horse, Connie Foster, but were unable to speak with her.

With the horse in need of immediate medical attention, Animal Service officers took custody of Mr. T and transported him to Sweet River Equine Clinic.

Once he was examined, Mr. T was also diagnosed with extreme arthritis, his hooves were in poor condition, and he had several cracked teeth. After completion of the examination, Supervisor Perry presented the case to the Merced County District Attorney’s Office with the recommendation that felony animal cruelty charges be filed against Foster.

Last week Deputy District Attorney Natalia Enero prosecuted a felony animal cruelty case against Connie Foster. After a two-day trail a jury found Foster guilty of animal cruelty.

Meanwile, Mr. T has made a strong recovery.

Since being seized by Animal Service Officers in August of 2018, he has gained weight with the help of a strict diet. Part of the horse’s rehabilitation involves the prescriptions of several medications that’s made it very expensive to care for him.

The cost of caring for Mr. T has made attempts to find someone to adopt him very difficult.

Instead of humanely euthanizing Mr. T., Supervisor Perry made the decision to adopt the animal. She took him home for good and continues to care for Mr. T and provide him with the daily care and medications he needs.

“Mr. T loves being petted and scratched and always wants to be the center of attention,” Perry said. “If he could be in your lap, he would”.

Mr. T has joined Perry’s other five horses.

Perry, who is extremely passionate about horses and other animals, stated she knew it would be extremely expensive to care for Mr. T. But she couldn’t watch him be put down, when all he needed was someone to care for him.

Despite making a great recovery in the past 14 months, Mr. T will still need to have some teeth pulled and continue to take medication. But he will live out the rest of his life with Perry.