Roy the Horse Starved to Death But No Charges Brought Yet


Target: Michael Zell, Wood County, Wisconsin Assistant District Attorney

Goal: Immediately investigate the case of an allegedly neglected horse.

A horse reportedly died from starvation at the hands of his owner in rural Wisconsin, yet officials have yet to press charges against the farmer who allegedly abused the animal. A request was put in but Assistant District Attorney Michael Zell, who was assigned to the case, has yet to file charges. He claims he does not have time due to other priorities and mentioned that there is no deadline for him to investigate the report. Those involved with rescuing the horse, named Roy, prior to his death want charges against the farmer to come quickly because they are concerned about the well-being of a second horse.

A woman found Roy while on her morning stroll and walked the horse to a nearby friend’s house where they contacted authorities. The horse’s owner came to get him but when Wood County Humane Officer Nanci Olson went to check on the horse, she reportedly found Roy along with an additional horse standing knee deep in manure and being fed moldy hay. The owner agreed to give up Roy, stating that she could no longer ride him anyway.

Unfortunately, there was nothing that veterinarian Dr. Gary Johnson could do to save Roy’s life. A few days after being brought in and set up with a treatment plan, Roy would no longer stand due to a lack of muscle tissue and organ failure. Roy was covered in rain rot and suffered a lame back leg the cause of which cause could not be determined. Johnson claimed this was the worst case of neglect he had ever seen. There was no indication of disease to cause such weight loss, and Roy had to be put down.

Roy’s former owner has another horse that allegedly suffers from a cough. Activists are concerned for the well-being of this second animal and want charges filed immediately to determine if it should stay under the farmer’s care. Sign this petition to demand that the Wood County District Attorney’s office review the case right away and file charges against the alleged animal abuser.


Dear Assistant District Attorney Zell,

I am writing because you have yet to review a report about a horse that was starved to death in Babcock. A doctor and activists believe that Roy was neglected and starved until the poor animal lost his muscle mass and eventually had to be euthanized. This sort of crime cannot go unpunished.

Though you claim there is no deadline on this case, I urge you to reconsider due to a second horse under the allegedly abusive farmer’s care. It is believed that this horse suffers a cough, is kept in knee deep manure, and is fed moldy hay. This inhumane activity cannot persist. I demand that you use the full power of your office to ensure justice for Roy.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: eXtensionHorses

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  1. Ruth Marie Rusch says:

    Mr Zell, each day that you do not act to investigate the case of the horse Roy who was kept in miserable conditions and starved to death you are complicit in the abuse of another horse being kept by Roy’s former owner in the same manner. I beg you to pease not ignore the plight of this suffering animal or low-prioritize the criminal actions of its owner.

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