Horse 'Trigger' recovers, owner at psychological ward

Veterinarian says horse is blind in one eye, malnourished, injured

By Hatzel Vela - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - It was a happy Thanksgiving Day for Trigger. The horse was at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' center in Lakeland. His holiday feast included some nutritious hay and fresh clean water. 

Meanwhile, the horse's owner, Chris Emerson, was at the Broward County jail's psychological ward. He told reporters he got divorced and wrecked his truck before deciding to take Trigger on a long journey. 

Emerson, 36, who was trying to ride his horse from South Carolina to Key West, is facing an animal cruelty charge. SPCA's Laurie Waggoner said Emerson mistreated Trigger. 

"You can see the individual vertebrae, his hip bones and all the bones on the horse. His back is really sensitive," Waggoner said. "He gets really mad if you touch it."

Veterinarian Zachary Franklin said Trigger was malnourished. He had little body fat and his bones were showing. He also discovered the horse is blind in on one eye. 

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