Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18169
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Friday, Jun 3, 2011

County: Lafourche

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Oris Lee, Sr.

A jailed Golden Meadow man faces multiple counts of animal cruelty after the Humane Society of Louisiana and the Lafourche Sheriff's Office rescued two neglected horses he owned, police said.

Oris Lee Sr., 47, 21426 La. 1, is charged with three counts of animal cruelty after police received a series of complaints from neighbors about the horses, which were "tied up and starving," the Sheriff's Office said.

Lee was jailed June 3 on his third domestic-abuse battery offense, less than a week after neighbors started to complain about the horses.

Deputies warned him while he was in jail to make arrangements to take care of the horses, police said, but the complaints continued to mount.

Lee told the Sheriff's Office he was trying to sell them for bail money.

Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, said his organization worked with the Sheriff's Office for the past two weeks trying to gain custody of the horses.

"It was just overall neglect," Dorson said. "Neighbors kept them alive."

He said the horses had no water, medicine, grooming or exercise until Lee's neighbors got involved.

Pamela George, an animal rescuer in Cut Off who is caring for the horses, said the animals were left tied to a tree with about 20 feet of rope to walk around.

"I can't imagine why someone would do this," she said. "They look like walking skeletons."

Lee is still being held in the Lafourche Parish jail in lieu of a $1,000 bond for the domestic abuse and battery charges and a $10,000 bond after being charged with cruelty to animals.

George, who has been rescuing animals for 20 years, said rehabilitating horses in this condition is a slow and gradual process. "You can't just start feeding them grass," she said. "They could go into shock and die."

Dorson said George "graciously set aside some of her pastures for these horses." He estimated the rehabilitation could take up to the ten weeks, but George said it could be an entire year before the two horses are back in good health. Afterward, George said she plans to help the Humane Society find a suitable person to adopt and care for the horses.

"My goal is for them to be free, happy and fat," she said.

In a news release, Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre thanked the neighbors who reported the condition of the horses and the Humane Society for their help throughout the process.

"Now that Mr. Lee is out of the equation in terms of their care, there is no reason to believe these animals will not recover from his mistreatment," Webre said.

Each count of cruelty to animals carries up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.


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