A Chehalis man has pleaded not guilty to accusations he purposefully injured a horse while putting shoes on its hooves in September.
Todd Graham, 47, reportedly became “impatient” with a horse he had been hired to put horse shoes on and allegedly hit the horse multiple times with the claw end of the shoeing hammer, according to the horse owner’s report to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
The horse, named Petey, suffered swelling and a laceration from the incident, according to a veterinarian’s assessment.
“The injuries I … observed on the horse (were) consistent with what I was told happened and very consistent with an animal hit with a shoeing hammer,” said the veterinarian who examined Petey in a written statement that was included in court documents. “Horses can be difficult during any procedure. In this case, Todd (Graham) escalated his behavior towards the horse until he was physically abusing it.”
The owner stated Graham “held himself out as an experienced farrier” and said she called the veterinarian as soon as Graham left on Sept. 15. The veterinarian examined Petey that same day, and Petey’s owner immediately reported the incident to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
Graham was charged with first-degree animal cruelty on Dec. 10 and was issued a summons to come to Lewis County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 11.
The hearing was ultimately postponed to Jan. 13, but Graham was in attendance and the judge allowed him to remain out of custody on an unsecured bond.
A jury trial is currently scheduled for May 9, with an omnibus hearing to check up on the case scheduled for Fed. 3.