Malnourished horses seized for second time

Friday, September 19th 2008, 8:21 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

NORMAN, Okla. -- Authorities have seized close to a dozen malnourished horses and a dog from a ranch in Norman, but this isn't the first time animals have been taken from the property.

The ranch, owned by Leslie Paul Lambeth, is located in far northeast Norman at 144 Avenue and Bethel Road.

The first time the horses were seized was in March.

Lambeth was charged with six counts of cruelty to animals. He was allowed to take the horses back onto his ranch in exchange for his promise that he would take care of the horses.

Authorities returned to Lambeth's ranch Friday armed with a search warrant after animal welfare officers became worried about the horses' conditions again.

"From the roadway they were able to see and photograph horses in the field that in their opinion were in poor condition and in need of emergency help," said Captain Leonard Judy of the Norman Police Department.

Authorities rounded up eight horses and one dog that they thought were in poor health or receiving poor care. The horses and dog will be held at privately run animal shelters.

Ranch owner Leslie Paul Lambeth said the horses are fine and police are picking on him.

"These people made a mistake when they came out here and picked up my horses before. And now they're coming back out here to try to pick ‘em up to straighten up the mess that they made," the animal owner said. "They're making a bigger mess now."

A preliminary hearing for the original animal cruelty charges against Lambeth will be held Oct. 27.