OPELOUSAS, La. -Dr Drip was a prize-winning racehorse with numerous ribbons to his name. But his notable life came to a sad end this week when the once-muscular stallion was found starving and maggot-ridden in Opelousas.
St. Landry Parish Animal Control and Rescue said Dr Drip was seized from property in the parish on Tuesday after a Good Samaritan reported seeing the emaciated horse in a field. He died Wednesday.
Animal control said seizure cases usually take 24 hours, but Dr Drip was in such bad shape they worked with the parish Sheriff’s Office to get him almost immediately.
“We were allowed to seize the horse within three hours,” said Stacy McKnight, director of St. Landry Parish Animal Control and Rescue. “Because of the condition, we didn’t feel he had 24 hours.”
McKnight said the last race Dr Drip ran was in 2014, and reports said he won $40,000 in the 2010 Magnolia Stakes.
Racehorses receive some type of permanent marking, and McKnight said Dr Drip’s mark was a tattoo in his mouth. Tuesday, photos were posted from Dr Drip’s veterinarian that showed abscesses in his mouth. The vet said the sores made it hard for him to chew hay, and he began to cough blood.
“When we brought him in, he had a vet attending to him within the hour,” McKnight said. “I believe at the end, the horse knew people were trying for a change.”
McKnight said she wondered how the horse could have been in such bad shape.
“In this parish, we normally get phone calls about horses like this in a timelier fashion,” she said. “We're still lucky that we got this call.”
The name of Dr Drip's last owner has not been publicly released.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office said animal control officers begin the process of filing animal-neglect charges.
McKnight said if that’s the case, her office plans to begin that process.