No charges filed yet against owner of starving horses

Cotton County_UPDATE_New information on the starving horses 7NEWS found in Cotton County nearly 3 weeks ago. 7 out of 21 horses were already dead when help arrived. Now many people are crying out for the owner to be prosecuted. But, Comanche Nation Police say they've hit a road block and they're not able to press charges. They say the people who can, haven't done it yet.

Because there are so many people involved, there's confusion over who takes responsibility. You have the Comanche Nation Police who currently have the horses, the Cotton County Sheriff's Department who first discovered them, the District Attorney who files charges, and the Humane Society, pushing them all.

The Comanche Nation took the 14 malnourished horses and they've been taking care of them ever since. They did an investigation and prepared a file for the Sheriff's Department with pictures, criminal history, and all the information about the case. Federal law says Indian tribes do not have jurisdiction to prosecute non-Indians, so they cannot press charges against the owner. But Comanche Nation Police Chief Vernon Griffin said it's one of the most grievous animal cruelty cases he had ever seen. So he was more than upset to hear that the District Attorney had decided not to press charges. Griffin said Cotton County Sheriff Paul Jeffrey told him last week the District Attorney refused.  Today we talked to the Assistant District Attorney who says he hasn't even seen the paperwork for the case. We also talked to Sheriff Jeffrey who says he's been meaning to take it to him. But, he hasn't had a chance yet.

In the meantime, representatives from the humane society don't want to wait any longer. "When it comes to animal cruelty, nobody wants to do anything and they pass the buck and it's very frustrating and the animals pay the price in this," said the Executive Director of the Animal Birth Control Clinic, Linda Reinwand.

Reinwand says they'll keep pushing for charges to be filed. "It leaves it up to county officials who represent the tax payers of this county and the surrounding counties and we need the citizens to step up to the plate and start calling Sheriff Jeffrey and the District Attorney's office to insist that something be done on this case," said Reinwand.

A representative from Comanche Nation Police told 7NEWS she'll hand deliver the file to the Assistant District attorney. Sheriff Jeffrey also said he'll be taking it to him Wednesday.