Horse returned to Dalhart woman accused of animal cruelty - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Horse returned to Dalhart woman accused of animal cruelty

Posted: Updated:

Animal cruelty charges have finally been filed on the Dalhart woman who, a short time ago, had nearly 70 animals seized from her home.

Although charges have been filed on the woman by both the Dalhart Police Department and Dallam County Sheriff's Office, it wasn't before a judge allowed one horse to be returned to her. A decision that's left many in the community scratching their heads.

"You walk out here every day and you see a horse that looks like that, makes you sick," said Richard Miller, the new owner of two of the horses seized from Kerri Arroyo just last month.

He had been keeping a third horse in Channing, until a hearing last week.

"The horse that we had in Channing, Judge Little gave that horse back to the woman," explained Miller. "It really ticked me off. I didn't think that was right and she should have never given it back because these horses were in terrible shape."

Dallam County Deputy Maxwell Morris has also been working the case and says according to officials at the hearing last week, the judge felt that horse was healthy enough to be returned to Arroyo.

"From what I understand," said Deputy Morris, "There wasn't enough evidence she believed to keep that one horse, that's why it was returned."

At the time the one horse was given back to the woman, Miller says it was still in bad shape -ribs showing and bite marks all over her body.

"Why she made that decision, somebody is going to have to ask her," said Miller.

But when we tried to contact Judge Rita Little for comment, she refused. Since having it returned, Arroyo has been spotted riding the horse around town.

"Why she did that, some say to thumb her nose at the town," said Deputy Morris.

"She was parading the horse down 7th Street and riding it and all this other sort and the horse wasn't in shape to be ridden," added Miller. "So she just kind of more or less made a fool of them."

As for the fate of that horse now, Miller says he hasn't seen it in a while, and suspects he won't.

"I'd look for that horse to be found somewhere dead,' he said. "That's the way I see it."

Since charges have been filed by both city and county officials, the prosecution of the case rests in the hands of Jon King, the County Attorney.  So far, no court date has been set.