Alva man leaves his horse severely malnourished, deputies say

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Published: Updated:
Mugshot of Jose Antonio Gamez Azcanio, 71. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff's Office)
Mugshot of Jose Antonio Gamez Azcanio, 71. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

An Alva man faces animal cruelty charges after Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies found his Paint Mare severely malnourished with several wounds on Wednesday.

The suspect, Jose Antonio Gamez Azcanio, 71, faces violations of Torment/Deprive/Mutilate/Kill an Animal and Permit Livestock to Run at Large or Stray.

LCSO responded to concerns of a malnourished horse nearby the 21000 block of Edwards Dr. in Alva Wednesday. A Paint Mare, a white and brown horse, was showing signs of malnutrition.

Using the Henneke Body Condition Scoring System, which is based upon visual observation and a manual examination of fat cover over the six major points of the horse, the animal was deemed to be in distress, per the LCSO press release. The scale rates horses from one to nine, one being gaunt and skeletal and nine reflecting obesity. The Paint Mare was scored at 2.5.

”It made me sad,” Sally Derr said. “No animal should be treated like that. If you can’t take care of an animal, you shouldn’t have one. And I’m glad that the sheriff’s department stepped in and seized the horse.”

The horse had sores and cuts on its rear legs. A wound on the left side of its head was infested with flies, per the press release. The horse’s hooves were overgrown and cracking and a scar was apparent on the horse’s neck.

“I hope that the horse gets all the necessities that it needs and it’s able to fulfill a better life with someone who deserves it,” Derr said. “And I hope that because of what has happened other people will also step up and say something.”

The owner of the horse, Azcanio, is currently in LCSO custody.

“I want to be crystal clear,” said LCSO Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “There will be zero tolerance for any abuse in Lee County. If you abuse an animal, we will find you and put you behind bars where you belong.”

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