A Roy woman will spend five days in jail for letting two horses in her care starve to death.
Shyrell Wood, 25, was sentenced Tuesday to 45 days in jail, but Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stanley Rumbaugh said she can serve most of those under electronic home monitoring.
In addition, she can get credit for two days, for community service she’s done, the judge said.
Wood, who pleaded guilty to first-degree animal cruelty in January, declined to speak with reporters.
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At sentencing she said: “I messed up,” before beginning to sob.
Her attorney, John Austin, told Rumbaugh that Wood grew up around horses, and was devastated by the death of the animals.
“She was unable to keep up with the costs,” he said.
Wood is an Army veteran with no prior criminal history, the lawyer said, and is going to school full-time as she raises her 4-year-old son.
Rumbaugh suggested she should have given up the horses if she couldn’t care for them.
“You’re obliged to feed the livestock that you own,” he told her.
Neighbors called Animal Control in November 2014 after an 8-year-old thoroughbred mare named Buttercup went down in the pasture. The responding officer called a veterinarian, who eventually euthanized the horse.
Long-term starvation was determined to be the cause of death.
The officer saw another horse that appeared underweight, and gave Wood instructions to care for the horse. The officer also set a date to check on the animal, which died before he returned.
Investigators think the horse, named Shylo, had been dehydrated and malnourished.
The neighbors had been worried enough about the animals that they threw hay over the fence, but said they hadn’t called earlier because they feared Wood would retaliate.
Animal Control seized her two remaining horses.