Charges filed in Skagit County horse neglect case

Charges filed in Skagit County horse neglect case »Play Video
Ex-Emerald Downs racehorse Tuker
A Mount Vernon woman accused of starving three former race horses and depriving them of water now faces felony charges in the case.

Emily Parlin, 20, has been charged with three counts of animal cruelty after officials found one of the horses dead and the others barely alive, living in a mud pen in the Skagit Valley without food or water and surviving by eating the wooden posts around it.

Parlin bought the horses from an Auburn ranch in September. They were in good health when they left, says Melody Slocum, a trainer who had worked with them.

"Everything looked right with this gal and we thought she would be in good hands, we thought she was nice," Slocum said of Parlin.

But by January the horses were emaciated and covered in sores. One of them - Slew City Gem, granddaughter of the great Seattle Slew who won the Triple Crown - died and was tossed over the side of a cliff.

Officials discovered the horses' condition after they were alerted by a neighbor.

They're now back in Auburn and being cared for.

Parlin has declined to comment on the case, but her father says she just got in over her head when she bought the horses.

"It's just so sad, it's just an empty feeling," said Karen Angelos, who has worked with the horses, too. She said all the horses could do was eat after they were rescued.

Prosecutors say they're still investigating the circumstances of 'Slew's death, and that there could be more charges.