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No charges filed in animal neglect investigation involving Merced Police employee

MARIPOSA -- No charges will be filed against a Merced Police Department employee who was under investigation for possible animal neglect in Mariposa County.

Mariposa District Attorney Bob Brown said Friday that after looking at the case "long and hard," he concluded the 2-year-old horse was afflicted with a congenital heart condition and that the owner "did the best he could" to address the situation. "The truth is, there was a lot of effort that went into taking care of this horse," Brown said.

Brown said the owner had treated the horse's wounds with ointment, fed the horse "high energy food," had a local horseman treating the horse and had made efforts to stand the horse up. "The vet said there was nothing that (the owner) could have done in this case, short of heart transplant -- that the horse was just naturally dying," Brown said. "I think one could say 'he could have done more.' But that's not really the criteria to put him in the criminal justice system."

The case stemmed from a Mariposa County Sheriff's Department investigation into the injured horse at a residence on Mark Twain Lane in March.

Mariposa Animal Control officers had responded to the home because the horse was unable to stand. The horse eventually had to be killed.

Brown also said the owner "didn't know at the time the horse had no chance because of the bad heart."

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or