The horse ridden from Schenevus to Oneonta a week ago was euthanized Friday because of hoof injuries, Oneonta police said.
Donald Lane of Schenevus said the death was like losing a family member. The police department, which has charged Lane with animal abuse and said he didn’t own the horse, is harassing him, Lane said Sunday.
“I adopted the horse two weeks ago,’’ Lane said. “The police are lying.’’
On Nov. 18, Lane was charged with torturing or injuring an animal, a misdemeanor under state Agriculture and Markets law, city police said. The unshod horse had an injury to its right rear leg and to its hooves, police said, and was taken away by a veterinarian for emergency care.
On Sunday, Lane said he would refute the abuse charge.
Told Sunday by a Daily Star reporter that the animal had been euthanized, Lane said he was upset that he hadn’t been able to say good-bye to the thoroughbred named Sochi. The 7-year-old mare had a brown coat, black mane and tail and white markings on her face and a stocking on her right, rear leg, he said.
Schenevus is about 15 miles east of Oneonta along Interstate 88.
Lane said he doesn’t have a driver’s license and rode the horse along state Route 7 on grassy and paved areas to Oneonta to visit friends.
The Nov. 18 ride was the second trip to the city on the mare, he said, and that day he left Schenevus at about 8 a.m. and arrived in Oneonta in the early afternoon.
“I didn’t run the hell out of my horse getting into town,” Lane said. “I don’t understand what the big deal is.”
When police officers investigated a report of a man on a horse Sunday afternoon, Lane was “Okay,’’ Lt. Douglas Brenner said. Later, however, Lane was having trouble getting the horse to move and was seen whipping the horse with a stick, Brenner said.