Woman who accidentally dragged horse to death not suspected of animal cruelty

  • A California woman who accidentally dragged a horse behind a trailer earlier this week is not currently suspected of animal cruelty.

    Margaret Whitelaw, 55, was on her way back from a ride at a friend’s ranch on Ratto Road, Jamestown with her two daughters on Monday (July 6), when one of the horses allegedly fell out of the trailer.

    It is thought that the horse, which belonged to Whitelaw’s 14-year-old daughter, was dragged for about four miles before another driver alerted them.

    “Officials found streaks of blood on roads for three and three quarter miles,” Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson told local press.

    When she got out of her vehicle, Whitelaw found the horse lying dead behind the trailer, tethered to the inside.

    It is thought that when the trailer door opened, the black mare Plum Rose stepped or fell out onto the road, remaining tied to the trailer.

    The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department and animal control are investigating the incident.

    Sgt. A.J. Ford, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s spokesman, told local press that authorities do not suspect Whitelaw of animal cruelty at this stage in the investigation.

    He went on to say that animal cruelty charges are usually only brought about when authorities believe that a person wilfully or maliciously harmed or neglected an animal.

    “Based on the investigation so far, it doesn’t appear at all that there was any malicious intent,” Ford explained.

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