Pugsley, young horse seized from James Crafton Ford Jr.’s Louisville residence, dies
By Wes Wade | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A 15-month-old horse seized from a Louisville residence last week had to be put down Friday at University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center after his health deteriorated.
Pugsley, the young stud colt seized along with six other horses last Thursday from the Gravelly Hills Road residence of 46-year-old James Crafton Ford Jr., started to experience medical problems Thursday night.
Nina Margetson, executive director of Horse Haven, said Pugsley’s glucose level dropped dramatically Thursday night. He had been returned to UT’s vet clinic Sunday and was initially listed in serious condition. The young horse was being treated for malnutrition and other health issues. He, along with the six other horses, had scars, cuts and other injuries sustained as the animals fought for food at Ford’s residence, Margetson said.
Pugsley was being kept in a sling and was resting for four hours before being taken out to stand for eight hours, Margetson said.
“He would get up and stand up and do everything he could to keep from laying down,” Margetson said “But then he would tire himself out.”
An equine manager from Horse Haven visited the vet clinic Friday morning and, with the help of veterinarians at UT, formed a plan in an attempt to treat Pugsley.
After he failed to improve, they decided to euthanize the horse shortly after 3 p.m. to prevent further suffering, Margetson said.
“It’s just one of those things where we just got (to him) too late,” Margetson said.
Pugsley weighed around 500 pounds, about 300 pounds shy of a healthy weight for a horse his age.
A necropsy is scheduled to be performed Monday. Margetson said it typically takes at least two weeks for results to come back. Investigators with the Blount County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals seized the horses and Horse Haven is caring for them at its Knoxville headquarters.
Representatives from both groups said malnutrition is likely to be the cause of death, though they can’t be sure until the necropsy is performed.
Ford is currently facing a charge of animal cruelty and is scheduled to appear in Blount County General Sessions Court Sept. 18.