Sickly horse near Millington euthanized after further investigation

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MILLINGTON (WJRT) (9/19/2017) - A day after provocative photos of an ailing horse flooded social media, a local veterinarian euthanized the animal.

The horse was lying in a pasture on Barnes Road near Millington. Steven Kolaja and his son saw the horse on Sunday and stopped to render aid after walking onto private property.

They posted photos of the horse on Facebook later Sunday with a plea for help. Thousands of people shared and commented on the photos Sunday evening and Monday.

The Tuscola County Sheriff's Department responded to the home Monday to investigate the horse's condition and deal with passersby repeatedly trespassing to see the horse. Police declined to take action on Monday after learning the owner and Tuscola County Animal Control were working with a local veterinarian who was treating the horse.

On Tuesday, a field veterinarian with the Michigan Department of Agriculture visited the horse with the local veterinarian who had been treating the 10-year-old horse for a chronic condition. After another exam, the veterinarians and the owner agreed to euthanize the horse.

A press release from the Tuscola County Prosecutor's Office says the horse had been undergoing a prescribed course of treatment for "a lengthy period of time" due to the long illness.

There was no word on whether the owner or veterinarian would face any criminal charges or whether authorities planned to continue investigating the case.

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