Couple arrested in horse cruelty case

Published: Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 11:44 p.m.

A Fort White couple was arrested by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office Friday on felony animal cruelty charges for allegedly starving a horse so badly it had to be euthanized.

Arrested were John and Christy Riederer of 482 SW Gallberry Court, reported the Sheriff's Office.

An animal cruelty investigation began Jan. 7 after authorities received complaints of malnourished horses on the Riederer property. Deputy Jay Swisher discovered that a male horse did not have a viable food source and appeared to be very malnourished, reported Sgt. Ed Seifert.

Swisher could clearly see the outline of the horse's ribs, backbone and pelvic bones. Deputies summoned veterinarian Beth Moses to evaluate the horse. Treatment was attempted but the horse had to be euthanized on Jan. 10.

Seifert said authorities learned that Moses had previously euthanized another emaciated horse on this same property in November.

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