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2 charged with neglect after horses rescued

Both sides of an estranged Harrison County couple will be charged with Class A misdemeanor neglect of an animal after five horses were seized from a leased barn along South Gethsemane Road last week.
Charges against Lisa C. Dunaway and Donald R. Dunaway Jr., both of Corydon, were filed yesterday (Tuesday) in Harrison Superior Court.
‘When you read the police report and the facts of it, it’s clear neglect,’ Harrison County Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk said yesterday. ‘You’ve got five horses less than a hundred yards away (from Lisa Dunaway’s home) and the horses obviously hadn’t had water or been fed in weeks. One horse may wind up being put down, and the other four are in horrible condition. Ultimately, somebody has to answer to that.’
The owner of the barn, Mansen Way, called police last Wednesday after the owner of the horses hadn’t removed them by a court-ordered date of June 30.
Officers Dennis Asher and Carri Bowers, both with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, and Harrison County Animal Control Officer Bruce LaHue went to the barn and located four horses and one pony inside the barn. A 75-gallon trough inside the barn had about 20 gallons of cloudy water contaminated with grass and hay. The water had been brought in by Way’s employees in five-gallon buckets after it was discovered the horses didn’t have water.
Way allegedly told police that the water source for the barn had been disconnected by Ramsey Water Co. after Donald Dunaway Jr. had failed to pay his water bill.
No food was located in the barn other than a small quantity of molded hay that was loose and had been scattered in the paddock area by Way’s employees. Several sharp objects were laying on the ground in and around the barn, including a tire tool, the end of a metal hay fork, a metal barn door and various other items such as wire and crushed aluminum cans.
LaHue said two of the horses appeared emaciated and the others all appeared to be well below normal body weight. After consulting with the investigating officers (Asher and Bowers), LaHue contacted Dr. Jodi Lovejoy with the State Board of Animal Health.
Lovejoy evaluated the horses prior to their being moved to Buck Creek Valley Horse Rescue in Elizabeth. Using the Henneke Body Condition Scoring System, a normal score is within the range of 4.0 to 6.0, with a 1.0 being emaciated and a 9.0 being extremely obese. The horses ranged from 1.0 to 3.0.
Schalk said that after the horses were moved to the horse rescue that one of the horses vomited its food because it hadn’t eaten in so long.
Dunaway Jr. allegedly said that Dr. Bill McDonald had been at the property to evaluate the horses and said the hay was bad and that was why the horses were in poor condition. Lovejoy contacted McDonald, who confirmed he’d been on the property on April 18 and that he told the Dunaways they needed to get better quality hay because what they were feeding was rotten. McDonald also suggested to the Dunaways that they de-worm the horses and provide additional pasture area.
Lovejoy’s report said that the horses, which require about 10 gallons of water per day, had not received adequate nutrition for a very long period of time.
Regarding the sharp objects, Lovejoy noted, ‘Removing or fixing these dangerous items and thus protecting the horses from harm does not cost money, only time and a small amount of effort, yet Mr. Dunaway Jr. has not done so, allowing these items to remain accessible to the horses and able to cause additional injury.’
Lovejoy said it doesn’t appear Dunaway Jr. had followed any of McDonald’s recommendations and that ‘if any of the horses were to remain under Dunaway Jr.’s ownership and/or care, their health and well-being would be placed in serious, if not immediate, jeopardy.’
Later, Bowers said that, while she was interviewing Lisa Dunaway, she noticed a cat laying lifeless in the yard. LaHue came back to the scene and said that after touching the cat it did stand, but it was extremely weak and thin. He said the cat’s ribs were easily seen, the cat was dehydrated and it had greenish-yellow discharge from the eyes and nose, but, the cat had no obvious trauma.
According to LaHue, Lisa Dunaway said her son told her the cat had been hit by a car a few days prior. She said the cat hadn’t been treated by a veterinarian but it had been vaccinated for rabies. LaHue took the cat to animal control for further evaluation and treatment. He gave the cat food and water, and it ate and drank readily and without delay.
Anyone wanting to donate for care of the horses should call Buck Creek Valley Animal Rescue at 968-3000.