Update: Horse Owner Says Horse In Photo Is Not Abused Or Neglected
Update 3/17/14) Strawberry, the 30 year old quarter horse that was at the center of a controversy after a picture of it lying down was posted on Facebook, has been euthanized.
The picture sparked wide spread outrage on social media, but it was determined the horse was not abused or neglected.
The owner, Chris Smith, rescued Strawberry and several other horses in 2013.
There is no investigation into Smith or how his horses are being treated.
(Corinth, MS) A picture of an underweight horse lying in a Corinth, Miss., pasture went viral after the person who took the picture posted it on Facebook.
The person was outraged over what was thought to be case of animal neglect.
The picture caused such an uproar that the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter had to check it out.
What they found was a far cry from abuse.
Chris Smith showed us Strawberry, the horse at the center of the controversial picture.
"This horse is about 30 years old...she's real old," said Smith.
Smith said he's invested a lot of time and money caring for the aging quarter horse.
"She was poor when I got her. And I doctored her all summer long and all winter and I kept her alive," said Chris Smith.
He's upset someone recently snapped a picture of Strawberry lying down in a pasture.
The picture was posted on Facebook, along with accusations the horse was abused and neglected.
Smith said Strawberry looks better than when he got her about six months ago.
"I figure they took the picture thinking the horse was dead...but it's not," said Smith.
Smith got Strawberry and 11 other horses in 2013 from someone who couldn't care for them anymore.
Until we showed it to him Wednesday, Smith was probably the only person who hadn't seen the picture.
The image went viral and soon showed up on the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter's Facebook site.
Shelter Director Charlotte Doehner said the image generated more than 4,000 hits.
"There are massive amounts of comments, not only on our Facebook site, but on Facebook sites all over the country now with this," said Doehner.
Charlotte Doehner said the shelter and the Alcorn County Animal Control Officer's investigation found Smith had done nothing wrong, and in fact was far from a horse abuser.
Doehner said Smith actually rescued the horses and is a hero.
"So, here we have a picture that has gone viral on Facebook, condemning someone who is actually trying to help," said Doehner.
Doehner says Smith is renting the pasture land and has made sure his horses have enough food and medicine.
But it appears Smith just doesn't have the means to give Strawberry all the help she needs.
The Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter will do what it can to help, but only takes in dogs and cats, not horses.
Charlotte Doehner said even though Strawberry is very old in horse years, she's still in relatively good condition.
A veterinarian experienced with horses is expected to give Strawberry a more complete physical assessment.