Maverick saga ends with jail, gelding

An Oak Harbor woman who neglected a stallion named Maverick was recently sentenced to electronic home monitoring.

But while she’s serving her sentence, Maverick faced a sentence of a very different kind. He had a little nip and tuck that ended his days as a stallion permanently.

A 32-year-old woman pleaded guilty in Island County District Court to second-degree animal cruelty. She failed to provide the 5-year-old paint with proper shelter, space and nutrition.

The woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail with 80 days suspended. The judge allows the 10 days to be converted into 30 days of electronic home monitoring. Also, she has to pay $1,293 in fines and fees.

More importantly, she must forfeit Maverick and is not supposed to own or possess horses during a two-year supervised probation.

In June, Island County Animal Control Officer Carol Barnes seized Maverick from the Umatilla-area home after a resident requested a welfare check for the horse. Barnes said the horse was undernourished, with ribs clearly visible under his hide.

A great number of residents and businesses helped give the horse a better life by opening their hearts and wallets.

Maverick will soon be available for adoption. But first, the intact male was gelded at a Skagit Valley veterinary clinic Tuesday.

After he’s healed, Barnes said she’ll start the process of trying to find him a permanent home. He’s had only limited training, but he’s coming along nicely with his lessons at the foster home. Barnes said he’s even stopped biting.

“He has to go to a qualified, experienced person,” she said.

Anyone who’s interested in adopting Maverick should call Animal Control at 929-1732.

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