Lt. Melissa Dunn of the Texas County Sheriff’s Department said this week that no charges were filed in the case of suspected mule abuse that was reported in late February on this blog.

Cathy Hill of Buffalo claimed that her mule, Tessa, was abused by a trainer in the Evening Shade area. She detailed her case, including multiple photos, on a website dedicated to the animal.

Dunn said a veterinarian at the University of Missouri ruled Tessa had suffered from laminitis, not dragging, pulling or striking by the trainer. It is a painful condition of the foot.

According to Dunn, the prosecutor’s report said the trainer contacted Hill and told her the mule was sick. The trainer got medications from a veterinarian and again contacted Hill, asking her to retrieve the animal.

Dunn said a period of several days passed before Hill picked up the animal. Dunn said Hill did not contact authorities, but instead took the animal home. She did not contact authorities immediately at home either, Dunn said, but instead took pictures that were forwarded to a vet.

Tessa was eventually examined at MU and ruled to have laminitis. She was put to sleep.

“Tessa was sick,” Dunn said.

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