While one seriously malnourished horse has been turned over to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Ohio, four other horses are still of concern to the organization. At this time, the whereabouts of four of the animals remains in question. According to the Chillicothe Gazette on Jan. 23, the most seriously malnourished horse, pictured in the attached photo from the SPCA, is safe and sound and receiving care.
The SPCA of Ohio received a complaint at its facilities and a simultaneous referral from the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, which had also been called with a complaint. Five horses were starving at th 1400 block of Massieville Road, Massieville, Ohio.
When a deputy checked out the situation at the property, he found no food and the water buckets were solid ice. He spoke with twenty-year-old Derek J. Hawk who said hay was “on the way.” The deputy directed Hawk to get food to the horses at once and to use a warmer for the water to prevent freezing.
On the following day, the deputy contacted Teresa Landon, executive director of the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and again returned to the property. Fresh water had been put out for the horses, without a warmer. There was no hay. This time Hawk told the deputy that the horses had eaten four hay squares already and that more hay was coming later in the day.
That evening the deputy went back and there was still no hay. At this time, he charged Hawk with two second-degree misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. He also charged the father, Floyd R. Hawk, 45, with three counts of cruelty to animals.
The SPCA was able to have Payton surrendered to them, but the Hawks would not surrender the other four. These animals were fenced by barbed wire in a yard, not a pasture.
The two Hawks appeared at Chillicothe Municipal Court about the animal cruelty and a trial date was established for April, 2014. Landon said they told the court that three of the four horses were given away and one remains. The SPCA is increasingly concerned about the four horses. She is skeptical of what she has heard about the horses thus far.