A California man in calling his friend misguided after he used a sledgehammer on the man’s ailing horse to “put it out of its misery.”
Lupe Valdez of Porterville, Calif. had a 27-year-old horse named Lobo who was reaching the end of his life. Valdez, who was in Sacramento at the time, said he received a call from his son that Lobo had fallen down. Valdez says he called his friend Martin Padilla, 50, to check and Maximo Rodriguez, 59, to go over an check on the horse.
One of them did more than just look in on the horse though. Padilla, realizing the horse was old and ailing, took it upon himself to put the horse down. However, he used a sledgehammer to the downed horse and failed to actually kill Lobo in one swing.
A neighbor reportedly called the police who arrived to find Lobo strapped to a flatbed trailer and still alive.
A veterinarian at Tulare County Animal Control determined the horse’s injuries were too severe and Lobo was put down humanely.
Both Padilla and Rodriguez were arrested by Tulare County Sheriff’s Department on suspicion of animal cruelty. Each was released after posting $2,500 bail.
Valdez says he understands Padilla being arrested, saying, “That’s not how you handle things,” but insists Rodriguez is innocent and “did not touch the sledgehammer.”
Lobo, a half-quarter horse and half-Arabian, was once a rodeo horse before being retired at the age of 14. Valdez said he was sometimes still ridden in parades.
Valdez and his family own four other horses.