A Colbert woman was arrested on March 22 for cruelty to animals after a witness noticed a donkey lying on its side on the property, possibly deceased or near death.
Tina Louise Mazariegos-Medrano, 48, was charged with cruelty to animals and disposal of the carcass of furbearing animals or alligators. She was later released on a $2,500 bond.
Deputy Gary Floyd and Animal Control Officer Ken Vaughn found the donkey with a leg wrapped in hog wire fencing.
It appeared the donkey had been there for some time, unable to get up and without food or water, according to Chief Deputy Jeff Vaughn.
Officer K. Vaughn called the University of Georgia Veterinary Hospital and a veterinary was dispatched to assess the donkey while Floyd removed the wire and attempted to get the donkey to drink; however, the donkey appeared near death and was unable to drink. The animal died before the veterinarian arrived, according to the incident report. Once on scene, the vet confirmed the animal was deceased and determined that it had a severe viral infection called rain rot on its back end that had been unattended for “quite some time.”
Floyd and K. Vaughn walked the approximately half-acre fenced in property to determine if any of the other animals had access to water and found one container on the back of the property that had very little water (possibly rain water) in it and was covered on the bottom in leaves and other debris. Floyd also noted that the fenced in area is littered with debris and feces.
Also while on the property, officers discovered the odorous decaying carcass of a dead goat in the back of a pickup truck.
911 dispatch contacted Mazariegos-Medrano, according to the 911 report, and she arrived during the investigation. She told officers she had been out of town but that she had seen the donkey up and about on March 20 and was unaware the animal was entangled in the wire, according to both officers’ reports.
When asked about the goat, she told Floyd that it had been poisoned two weeks prior when she found “blue balls” near it and had been placed in the pickup bed at that time. The goat had a dog leash on its face and was partially covered in a black plastic bag, according to Floyd’s report. She told Floyd she had not kept any of the blue balls.
According to 911 records, animal control and the sheriff’s office have a long history with the property owner and 911 Director Brenan Baird said that officers have been dispatched to the property many times over the years. The CAD call log from 911 lists 55 calls since 2017, many of them for animal cruelty or another animal issue. There have been a dozen calls, mostly animal-related, since October 2020 alone.
Chief Deputy Vaughn said officials plan to petition the judge to prohibit Ms. Mazariegos-Medrano from continuing to have animals on the Shoal Creek Road property or anywhere in Madison County. He said there are still animals on the property in question at this time.