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.

73 comments

  • Kristin Gaines

    Before you judge, know the WHOLE story. My barn has a very old horse that was rescued. He was severely under weight. He has been with us 4 months, and has gained some weight, however, he looks like Strawberry. He has hay all day long, eats a massive amount of food 2 x daily, and is getting a bunch of supplements to include weight builder. Once an older horse goes down, it is much harder to get the weight back on.

    • upaces88

      Kriston, I wish I could remember which site I was on where this article originated. The owner was on there. They man who took the horse said he knew all about horses. HE DID NOT! He allowed the horse to starve. People with no experience with horses should never own them!

      IF I can find it, I will get the url for you.

  • Sharon Luluavenue

    I just had to put a 32 yr old to sleep he started losing weight but never got that skinny but he probable would have and his weight loss was due to a tumor in his bladder.He eight good and was gave all kinds feed and extras but he just was not adsorbing any thing. so maybe this was has a health problem, and horses do lay down and sun..Mine loved the sun…

  • Brandi Trunzo Martzen

    As an experienced horse owner, I beg to differ with anyone who claims that the care that this horse has received by Mr. Smith has been adequate. His heart may be in the right place (presumably) but his blatant lack of knowledge of basic equine husbandry and horse care is slowly and cruelly KILLING this mare. Why are the other horses also underweight? Why could one clearly see hip bones on the others in the pasture? Ignorance is not an excuse and this television station has failed to do their homework before airing this story. Shame on you for enabling animal cruelty to continue.

  • cindy

    If he is interested in giving this horse to someone who has the means to care for her can someone please contact me? I have rescued many that look like her and they are perfectly healthy now. Can send proof. Pictures ect. I’m in texas but will travel to pick her up. Thank you

  • Carlie

    I believe you need to work on your reading comprehension. The article states quite clearly that this horse was in much worse shape when she was adopted last year. Who’s saying they think that horse looks healthy, can you point out the “stupid, stupid” person who said that?

  • Becca Sonye

    Hey Asshat- read the whole article: he has only had this horse for 6 months!!! Re feeding a starved horse is very different than nurturing an animal that has never been hungry, you just made yourself look completely foolish.

  • Chris Wooley

    I know this man, personally, and I can tell you he would never do harm to anyone, or any animal. The only way he ever would is if the animal, or person, was doing harm to him or his family. He is an all around great guy. Get your facts straight before you talk trash about someone.

  • chrissy

    Listen here. This is my daddy he is a good man who has taken in animals all his life. As u can see in the back ground are several other younger healthy horses. So, as it it mentioned, this horse is very old and much much healthier than when he took her in.

  • Michelle

    My 70+ year old parents gave the horse to this man because their health had gotten bad and they didn’t want her to suffer for it. She weighed several hundred pounds more than this when “Hero Man” got her and he promised to take very good care of her or give her back to them so they could place her with someone else. He is a liar.

  • upaces88

    Ooooo, Michelle….this just breaks my heart. I have no words to describe my feelings right now.
    This magnificent animal …………. I’m sorry….it just breaks my heart.
    I cannot imagine anyone could be that cruel….

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