Fruitvale man charged with animal cruelty

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 Stephen Driskill, of Fruitvale, owned 11 horses who were neglected and starving. One of the young horses collapsed on a neighbor’s property where she laid for five days. The neighbor, Jenola Johnson, had been feeding the horses for a month while waiting for the SPCA to investigate. Ms. Johnson tried everything to get the horse on her feet and find someone to help. She kept the horse alive by hand feeding and watering it for the five days. Mr. Driskill was notified the horse was down and stated, “she will either get up or she won’t”.

The sheriff’s department was contacted but asked by Ms. Johnson not to contact the owner. She feared Mr. Driskill would shoot and dispose of the horse. The Sheriffs department stated they would try to expedite the SPCA case.

Monday night, after waiting two days and at a loss of what else to do, she and her family took to social media making several Face Book posts including two to KLTV and the SPCA. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Within a couple of hours The Pegasus Project, a rescue organization, located in Ben Wheeler was at the residence where Pegasus founder, Allyson DeCanio, determined the situation was an emergency and the horse would not survive another night.

Pegasus volunteers took the filly to their ranch where it was examined by a vet and fed every 4 hours throughout the night. They were able to get her up on her feet the next day. The horse is 200 pounds under weight, covered with sores, and has eye issues from being on the ground so long.

Mr. Driskill was arrested Tuesday by Constable Mickey Henson for an old warrant of Prohibited Animal Running at Large and remains in jail pending an additional charge regarding this incident. Neighbors report it has been a problem for a long time with Mr. Driskill’s horses getting out and running the neighborhood in search of food in the way of neighbor’s lawns. “The horses are wild and have never been cared for”, stated one neighbor.

A Fruitvale resident brought a round bale of hay out Monday night for the other 10 horses. The SPCA of Dallas took possession of the additional 10 horses on Wednesday.