A man accused of neglecting his horses, one of which was euthanized, pleaded not guilty Thursday to animal cruelty charges.
Jeremy Hoskin, 40, is charged with first-degree animal cruelty and second-degree animal cruelty in Pierce County Superior Court.
Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered him released on his own recognizance. She also prohibited him from having or caring for animals until the court says otherwise.
According to charging papers:
Someone called animal control May 16, 2014, to say a horse that was skinny and appeared to have an injured leg was on the loose on the Key Peninsula.
An Animal Control officer visited the home of the man believed to own the horse and found no one was home, but could see four horses outside.
Several looked underweight, and the pasture was mostly dirt, because the horses had eaten the available grass.
The officer left a note, and when the owner called her, he said he’d been caring for the leg injury of the loose horse himself, and that he knew the horses were too skinny but weren’t “terrible.”
A couple of days after the initial report, Animal Control took the horses away. The owner said he had never had the horses’ teeth filed down, which is needed for them to eat properly.
One horse was found to be blind, with detached lenses, and was very underweight. Animal Control decided the animal needed to be euthanized.
Two of the other horses seized were underweight, though one only slightly, and the fourth couldn’t be found.