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Horse owner with revoked permit appealing to City Council

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, at 11:58 a.m.

A Wichita woman whose city animal maintenance permit has been revoked will appeal that decision Tuesday to the Wichita City Council.

Clara Walker, 84, 4824 N. Salina, had her permit revoked by Wichita police on Dec. 5, according to city documents, after police detectives and a veterinarian determined that a horse on her property was in poor condition — specifically “dire physical condition,” according to city documents.

Walker is accused of violating a city code prohibiting inhumane treatment of animals, and was also cited for allowing animals to run at large and bite or attack. Tuesday’s hearing is a quasi-judicial proceeding before the council, and if Walker doesn’t prevail, her next step would be an appeal in Sedgwick County District Court.

Walker contends that she is not in violation of the code

“I don’t know what is going to happen,” she said. “I know good and well I’m not what they say I am. I know that.”

Walker said her grandson, who lives with her, acquired the horse in poor condition from neighbors, and quickly determined that the horse could not be saved. She said the family made arrangements to transfer the horse to a local animal shelter.

However, local police — “10 or 15 of them, I guess; they were all over the front yard,” Walker said — and Humane Society officials showed up with a warrant and seized the horse before the shelter arrived. Two horses and a colt remain on her property, Walker said.

“What they’re trying to do is get a lot of written-up stuff saying we’re mean to our horses,” Walker said. “We most certainly are not. We work them — rodeo, trail ride — but we do not mistreat them.”

Walker said the other incidents involve children harassing her dogs, and that no one was bitten.

The permit revocation is for 24 months and is not permanent. If Walker’s appeals fail, she would be able to get a new permit in two years.

Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or bwilson@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @bwilsoneagle.

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