Prosecutors: Woman starved horse at boarding facility

by: Casey McNerthney, KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:

A Kent woman has been charged with felony animal cruelty after prosecutors say she neglected a horse to the point it had to be euthanized.

In February, the woman who owned the horse called a veterinarian with Northwest Equine and had her come to the boarding facility. The vet told an investigator that the horse had become so weak from starvation that “he could no longer stand up” and had to be euthanized.

The horse’s owner signed a boarding contact in April 2010 with Rose Ridlon, the woman who was charged with animal cruelty, according to prosecutors.

The owner said that she had not been out to see the horse since he was taken to the boarding facility but she would contact Rose monthly and sometimes more often to check and see how he was doing. The owner said she was unaware that the horse was losing weight until Ridlon said “he is looking a little puny,” according to court documents.

The owner said she couldn’t believe how emaciated the horse, named Stinky, was until she arrived. The owner also told a Regional Animal Services investigator that a veterinarian who had worked on the horse was not licensed.

On March 1, a Regional Animal Services officer arrived at the field and saw eight horses and two cows. One was under a blanket, which made it hard to see its condition. The remaining seven horses looked slightly underweight but none looked emaciated, according to court documents.

On March 5, the officer learned two of the horses had been removed from the property, another had gone back to the original owner, and the horse that was wearing the blanket died March 2 from colic.

Ridlon, 48, is scheduled to have an arraignment, where she’s expected to enter a plea, next month. She has not been arrested.

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