UPDATE: Judge issues search warrant for Clark Co. property where horse neglect is alleged
Clark County Judge Lyndsey Brunette issued a search warrant Friday for the Greenwood property owned by Harold Heck who is accused of neglecting his horse and leaving it outside in below-zero temperatures.
By issuing the search warrant Brunette is finding that there is probable cause that Heck is violating a state statute requiring proper shelter for an animal, according to attorney Dan Jardine.
"This horse's life, every minute of its life, is being tethered by its neck to a motor vehicle axle. Unable to move almost anywhere in the winter time for shelter or otherwise. It simply has to stand and do nothing but take whatever the Wisconsin elements put upon it," said Jardine.
Jardine is working with a group of citizens concerned over the horse's welfare.
After witnessing the horse's living conditions Connie Reiter-Miller started an online petition to raise awareness about the horse. The petition got signatures from more than 200,000 people.
"People were concerned and thought it was a cruel and inhumane way to keep a horse or any animal without shelter," Reiter-Miller explained.
Harold Heck, the owner of the horse, spoke with NewsChannel 7 on Wednesday. He said the horse gets plenty of food and water, and that the only reason the animal is tied up is because he's concerned that it can't see properly.
But the people who've signed the petition say they've offered to purchase the horse from the owner and even build it a shelter, but Heck declined.
"People who I've talked to in Clark County, when I raise the topic about the horse, they say 'Oh, that poor horse.' They know exactly about what I'm speaking. And it's because this horse is simply chained to a motor vehicle axle, unable to do anything than just stand in the Wisconsin elements," Jardine said.
It is now up to the Clark County Sheriff's Office to serve the warrant and investigate whether the horse being kept in inhumane conditions. If investigators find that neglect is being committed, they are permitted to seize the horse.