Posted: Jan 8, 2013 2:57 PM by MTN News
Updated: Jan 8, 2013 4:16 PM
GREAT FALLS - A woman has been charged with two counts of felony cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor count of unlawful disposition of dead animals in connection with her alleged treatment of several horses.
Court documents state that a dead horse was found under a tarp in a field off of McIver Road just west of Great Falls on December 31, 2012.
A sheriff's deputy invesigating the scene noticed another live but very thin horse nearby and called a veterinarian to inspect both horses.
The veterinarian concluded that the dead horse was emaciated and the condition of the teeth indicated that it was too young to have died from natural causes. The vet also noted that the live horse appeared to be in poor condition and was malnourished.
On Jan. 7, Maggie Bear was interviewed by law enforcement and said that she had owned the horses for the past two or three years, and that she and her boyfriend had not lived at the residence for the past month.
She said that she believed the horses had been fed "off and on," and that a neighbor had told that the horses need to eat 25 pounds of food each day. Bear reportedly admitted that she wasn't sure if the horses were being fed enough.
When Bear was asked when the first horse had died, Bear wasn't sure, but did state that it had died under the stable, and was then moved to the back field since she and her boyfriend weren't sure what to do with it.
Bear has since agreed to properly dispose of the dead horse and to find a new owner for the live horse.