Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18066
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Thursday, Jun 9, 2011

County: Pottawatomie

Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 2 files available

Alleged: John Richard Spangler

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A Shawnee area man has been arrested on complaints of animal cruelty and knowingly concealing stolen property after three starving horses and a stolen RV were found on his property.

John Spangler, 34 , was booked into the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center on charges of animal cruelty and knowingly concealing stolen property after two or more felony convictions.

According to a Shawnee police report, Spangler's criminal history shows convictions for accessory to homicide and a later conviction of possession of firearm after a previous felony conviction.

The three starving horses were taken to Shawnee Animal Hospital by Shawnee Animal Control officers. The report said veterinarian Dr. Mike Stewart indicated one or two of the horses might not live through the weekend.

Shawnee officers discovered the horses had no food or water, nor access to any.

Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said Saturday, "There is absolutely no excuse for these starving horses."

Frantz assisted in the initial investigation after police originally received a call the previous night about starving horses and also had responded to a domestic abuse call at the residence.

Officers stumbled onto the stolen RV when Spangler began asking about the RV officers were standing next to as they questioned him about the horses.

Upon checking, officers discovered the RV's rightful owner had reported to the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office it had been stolen.

Gerald Gillanders, who said he resides on the Pottawatomie/Oklahoma County line in far northwestern Pottawatomie County, owns the RV.

He said Saturday, "I'm still in shock, I think, but glad to get it back."

Gillanders said he reported it was stolen from his property Saturday, June 4.

Police allowed the owner to take his RV back home with him after they had taken photos of all the items recovered.

"There is damage I need to fix before I can use it," he said during an interview Saturday. "There is a bunch of stuff missing."

"It's weird. It was completely trashed, it's dirty, it's nasty. I'd rather taken a loss and get a new one," Gillanders said, although he acknowledged he was glad it was recovered.

"I think the Shawnee police did a great job. I want to thank them. They were very, very accommodating to me by letting me take it after they got all the photos they needed."

He said it was stolen during the day while he was gone for about three hours a week ago Saturday. Apparently, he didn't notice it gone at first when he returned, but when he went to retrieve something that evening from the RV that is when he noticed it had been taken.

"It was there most of the day, I know that," he said.

Among some of the items he knows are missing are clothing, bedding and a generator.

"And there is some stuff that may not work anymore. It kind of takes the wind out of your sail," he said.

Case Updates

Three horses rescued from starvation earlier this month have been moved from Shawnee Animal Hospital to Cargo Ranch, a nonprofit horse rescue, where they'll continue their long road of recovery.
The three paint horses, now evidence in a criminal animal cruelty case against a Shawnee man, were confiscated by Shawnee Animal Control officers June 10. They were placed in the care of Dr. Mike Steward and his staff and have been slowly been introduced to grains and alfalfa.
Friday, a Pottawatomie County judge approved transferring custody of the horses to Cargo Ranch, located in north Shawnee.

Debbie Goss, co-founder, and Rachel Molleur, volunteer horse trainer, picked up the horses Friday afternoon and got them settled in at the ranch, where they'll have free choice hay and will slowly be introduced "to the world of food."
While the horses have been through a lot already and have about a year of recovery time ahead of them, Goss said the horses are gentle.
"They have a little spark in their eyes " they're sweet and personable," Goss said. "They're rescue horses and they seem to know it."
Cargo Ranch is a horse rescue ranch that also mentors about 20 children each year through free summer camp programs allowing the children to interact with the horses, providing therapy for both.
Goss said these horses have been called Momma, Little Boy and Trouble, but she said they usually will get to know horses and name them according to their personalities and stories.

These horses, which should weigh between 1,100 to 1,200 pounds, weigh about 500 to 600 pounds, she said.
"They're very emaciated," she said, but added the "little sparkle" in their eyes is there, with personalities that will be ready to shine once they feel better.
"They'll be loved and cared for," she said.
The trio joins other recent rescues, Goss said, including two horses injured in last month's tornado near Goldsby.

Cargo Ranch, a non-denominational faith-based facility, is supported by donations and is run by volunteers.
Chris Thomas, administrator of support services at the Shawnee Police Department, said the city of Shawnee had been funding the horses' care at $50 per day for the past 14 days, plus cost of medications. Now Cargo Ranch will take care of the costs of their boarding, care and recovery.

Charged in the criminal case is John Richard Spangler, 34, who faces the felony animal cruelty charge after police found the neglected horses at his home, 33940 Lake Road.
The district attorney's office filed paperwork Friday to transfer protective custody of the horses to Cargo Ranch pending the outcome of forfeiture proceedings.

Thomas, who said children of all ages attend the summer camp and ministry programs at the ranch, said volunteers there are very devoted to what they do, making it an ideal location for the horses.
"I believe they are in goods hands, without a doubt," Thomas said.
Goss said the children attending camp love on the rescue horses and help feed them, forming a bond between the horses and the children.
She called the horses' conditions "heartbreaking" and said "they will need lots of care and love for a good year or more."
Source: - Jun 24, 2011
Update posted on Jun 25, 2011 - 3:09PM 


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