On Friday, July 17, the Wicomico County, Maryland State’s Attorney charged Delaware resident Ceba Horsey with one felony count of aggravated animal cruelty and three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty for botching the euthanasia of his horse, which had suffered a broken leg.

According to a press release issued by the Wicomico County Sheriff’s office, on 9 July 2015 a deputy responded to a call regarding an injured horse lying in the grass at boarding stable on Waller Road in Delmar, Maryland (which is on the Maryland-Delaware line).

According to the Sheriff’s office, the horse had broken its leg the previous day, and the owner had apparently told others on the property that he would euthanize the horse himself with an injection. The responding deputy did observe evidence that someone had attempted to inject the horse. However, according to the Sheriff’s office, the horse was still alive and in obvious pain, and so the deputy euthanized the horse. (On behalf of all our readers, thank you, Deputy Bennett.) We would like to note that the Deputy did take the precautions of consulting with Animal Control and a veterinarian prior to putting the horse out of its misery, but apparently did so with as much alacrity as the law allowed.

The trial is scheduled for September 1. If convicted, Horsey could face up to three years and up to $5,000 on the felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty, and up to ninety days and $1,000 for each animal cruelty misdemeanor. As a condition of probation, the court may also prohibit a defendant from owning, possessing, or residing with an animal.