HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - On Monday, Sept. 10, Carrie Crow appeared in Garland County court, accused of horse theft. Any other day, she can be identified as Carrie Crow, horse lover.
She’s accused of taking a 24-year-old registered Quarter Horse named OSU Powerslide and trying to rescue him. Bred by Oklahoma State University, the gray became a champion roping horse in 2001 and a sought-after stallion. But 20 years after his best days, he ended up on an overgrown pasture in Royal, Arkansas. Neighbors who passed by him for a couple weeks thought he was dying.
“He didn’t look like he was eating in all that grass and just stood in the same place,” said Angie Butler. “At that point we assumed there was nobody looking after it or taking care of it.”
Butler and her family were not alone in their concern. They posted pictures on social media and word quickly got around to Crow, a woman known for finding homes for unwanted horses. She reluctantly went into action.
“I certainly didn't want to spend $10,000 in feeding it six times a day but I wasn't going to let it die,” Crow said.” That horse was save-able. It absolutely was. I've saved one worse.”
No one could reach the owner and the sheriff didn't respond right away, so Crow entered the paddock, got the horse on her van and took him home to try and nurse him back to health. She believes the law is on her side.
“I got a call: This horse is dying. I went to save the horse,” said Crow.
But a couple hours later, the owner called the Garland County sheriff. An arrest report says the owner produced vet bills that convinced the deputies Powerslide was being cared for, and Crow was arrested. Crow is defending her actions by pointing to state law that allows people to stop cruelty to animals. But with the owner contending that they were trying to care for it, Crow became subject to arrest.
“We filed a motion for an independent vet examine this horse,” said Crow’s attorney Mark Fraiser. “Unfortunately, that's probably moot now because this horse has been euthanized.”
A social media post from a Facebook account in the name of the owner’s daughter said the family had been treating the horse, but he continued to inexplicably lose weight. After taking the horse back to a different farm, a veterinarian advised them to euthanize him.
Crow had Powerslide for only a couple hours, but she's sure - that those few hours gave him some love and possibly hope.
“They know when you're saving them, and so did this one,” she said. “Powerslide knew what I was doing.”
Crow was scheduled to be back in court on the 19th, but the Garland County prosecutor Michelle Lawrence is asking to be recused from the case, saying in a motion that Crow made statements that the prosecutor gave her permission to remove the horse. That means Lawrence might have to be a witness, and so they want a special prosecutor brought in.
THV11 contacted the woman who posted the letter from the owner. She said that statement would be all the family would have to say and that they have “confidence in the professionals who will see that the truth is brought out and justice is served.”