At approximately 10:15 a.m. today, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a citizen who witnessed a man dragging a small black and white Shetland Pony behind his vehicle on CR 6021. The witness said that each time the little horse stumbled and fell on the road surface, the owner would get out and beat the small horse across the head with a belt and buckle. Then he would get back in his truck and drag the horse again.

Deputies Gorden Bean and Robert Dunn, along with Sgt. James Sprayberry responded to the scene and located the horse’s owner 68 year-old, Francisco Castillo Cruz, at his residence at just outside the city of Dayton, Texas. Deputy Bean asked to inspect the horse and found that much of the hair and skin on the left side of the animal had been dragged off by the rough road surface. There was also physical damage to the hoofs and the left eye had severe damage from being repeatedly struck with a belt. Deputy Bean said there is a possibility the Shetland Pony may lose the left eye due to the injury.

The only reason that Cruz gave for abusing the Shetland pony was the fact that he was “mad” because the horse managed to get out of his stall and wander off his property.

A Seizure Warrant was obtained from Pct. 4, Justice of the Peace Berry Graves by Sgt. Sprayberry and the horse was turned over to a Houston SPCA unit to be transported to their facility for medical attention. Despite its severe injuries, Deputy Bean said that he feels the animal will survive his injuries after proper treatment.

Francisco Castillo Cruz was arrested and charged with “Cruelty to Livestock Animal”, a State Jail Felony, and placed in the Liberty County jail. He will go before a Judge later for a setting of a bond.

According to Deputy Bean, a hearing will be held sometime on Tuesday, May 13th. to determine if the Pony should be returned to Cruz or if it will remain in the custody of the Houston SPCA.

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  1. spk

    Thank you for this update. I am so relieved. Surely, anyone with the least bit of decency and humanity wouldn’t ever let that ‘owner’ have him back. Hope he can never ‘own’ another animal as long as he lives. He should be put in a mental hospital or some lock-up facility for the rest of his life.

  2. RF4508

    UPDATE, for the miniature horse
    I saw this on the Houston SPCA and wanted to share with every one else.

    The Houston SPCA has been awarded custody of the pony that was rescued after being dragged behind a truck by his owner in Liberty County. On May 13 the owner was divested of ownership after a judge determined the pony was cruelly treated. The Houston SPCA continues to treat the pony’s wounds as he receives comfort and care at the shelter.

  3. meandu2

    In no way should this this pony be returned to its owner. The owner is 68 years old, and obviously either has senile dementia or some other form of mental illness. In any case, he obviously should not be allowed to have any animals, and especially this pony who has suffered such abuse at his hands.

  4. Marlene Hache

    How can you possibly consider giving this poor pony back to this monster! If you do, the pony will be blamed by this immoral creature for his time in jail and will be killed in short order. This man is incapable of taking any responsibility for his own behavior, and blames everyone and everything else for his own problems and weak character. He’s a loser, and is incapable of self improvement. Since he has no self control, he’ll be in and out of jail for the rest of his life as he continues to hurt others. By returning the pony to him you will enable him to continue with his sick, cruel behavior.

  5. RF4508

    What an A$$ HOLE! Poor little guy. The A$$ HOLE needs to be tied to his own truck and be given his own taste of medicine and not get any medical treatment after words.

  6. lesliegary

    This animal should never be given back to this man. A petition should be started to make sure he never gets it back. Can you imagine what he would do to this animal if he ever got it back?

  7. bobbyd

    I have a pick-up truck and some rope. Wonder how this scumbag would like being pulled behind it,because he mad me mad by getting out of his cage and dragging this poor horse?
    Castrate him!!!

  8. LocalDrifter

    Horse is just the right height for a demented manimal. I’d run some swabs from a rape kit over it to check for STDs.

  9. spk

    This is so dangerous. Are people aware that the very low-life who abuse animals will or have already abused people–those people who are smaller or weaker than they are? Why can’t we do something to control this rat before he hurts another animal or person? Are there any children or old people living near him? What association does he have with them? These things should be kept track of. What a disgusting ‘human’ being!

  10. yukonjack

    (DO NOT!!!) give it back tie Mr Cruz behind a county car and drag him befor the JUDGE AND BEAT HIM WITH A BELT& buckle if he stumbles

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