Police called when tensions flair over dead horse


An argument over a dead horse brought police to a Delano horse rescue address.

Officers found that two women, Terry Jo Merbach and Heather Catherine Downs, had been in an argument over who overfed a “rescue” horse, causing the animal to die.

Downs had stated that Merbach threatened her and she retreated to the stable area for her own protection. Merbach claimed the reverse.

Rescue manager Chris Holeman told police that emotions had been running high on the loss of the horse on Sunday, Jan. 19.

Holeman told police that Merbach had been the one who fed the horse a large quantity of grain, causing it to get colic and eventually die.

Downs called police and stated that she fled to the corral area after Merbach showed a knife.

Police retrieved the knife and also a pink colored .38-caliber pistol from Downs.

Police Chief Mel Hunt and officer Sean Cook went to the horse rescue house and corral area. Their report stated that since there was no clear evidence of what had occurred, they warned both women and left. Their report was sent to the Grant County prosecutor’s office for possible action.

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