VAN NUYS -- Two Burbank men pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges
of animal cruelty and mutilation stemming from allegations that they
injected alcohol into a horse to keep its tail still during shows.
The men, Frederick Scott Johnson, 30, who owns the horse, and trainer
Michael Dunn, 30, entered their pleas April 26, along with Wyoming
veterinarian James Johnson Rushing.
If convicted, the men could receive up to a year in jail.
The men are accused of injecting the chestnut quarter horse, named
Michelle, in a procedure called tail blocking. The horse was allegedly
injected with alcohol near her tail in September while stabled at the Los
Angeles Equestrian Center to keep the tail from swishing in front of
The horse's tail was paralyzed by an infection caused by the
injections, said officials from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
The Los Angeles city attorney's office, which filed the charges
against the men March 16, said it is illegal to alter a show horse for
A preliminary hearing for the men is scheduled for May 19 in Los
Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys.