Moritz, who lives in Kerr County, said that he purchased the mare last year.
“I had it under contract from a gentleman in San Antonio,” he said.
These two horses were among five seized by law enforcement when they received information that the animals were not receiving adequate food or water by Amanda Moritz, who lives in southern Bee County.
Felix Moritz, her father, said that he has paid the full amount for the mare and his daughter had filed paperwork for him with the American Paint Horse Association to have the horse placed in his name since the sale was final in March.
“It was not given to her but it was under her supervision because I was fencing off five acres,” he said. “(Bee County deputies) are giving me the runaround. They are giving me the third degree.”
Moritz said that he has been unable to get the horse back from Habitat for Horses since the seizure by law enforcement.
Last week, Justice of the Peace Joe Lyvers ordered that the five horses remain in the custody of Habitat for Horses of Corpus Christi until the rightful owners could be found or adopted.
Dottie Clower, who works with Habitat for Horses, said, “If I give the mare back to him, he is going to give it back to Amanda. The horse is registered in her name so I have misgivings.
“I am going to fight him over it because she is the registered owner.”
According to records at the American Paint Horse Association, the mare, registered under the name of Mosocks, is owned by Amanda Moritz. Their records showed no pending transfer of ownership.
Amanda Moritz said that she did send in the request to have the horse placed in her father’s name prior to the seizure and after her father finished paying for the horse. Felix Moritz said that he had purchased the horse from a man in Marion, east of San Antonio.
“We sent it off on the 15th of April,” she said.
Investigator Adam Levine, who is handling the case through the Bee County Sheriff’s Office, said that his evidence indicates Amanda Moritz is the owner of the mare and foal. Levine said that he has asked Felix Moritz to come give a sworn statement concerning his ownership of the horses.
“I have invited Mr. Moritz to give me a sworn statement. He is yet to do it,” Levine said. “He said he is contacting his attorney.”
The mare and the foal are both doing well, Clower said.
“They have learned in about two seconds where the food line was,” Clower said. “The little kid can’t decide if he wants to be a bunking bronc or a race horse.”
Levine echoed her statement, saying, “They are starting to get back to were they need to be.”
Clower took issue with statements made by Amanda Moritz during last week’s meeting that the mare only appeared thin because she had just foaled.
“You have to keep them good and healthy so that when they do foal, they don’t look like this horse did,” Clower said. “The other problem you have is that without any grain, that baby is sucking everything out of momma.”
During the hearing, Amanda Moritz told Lyvers that she had been feeding the horse grain and offered to show receipts; however, law enforcement could find little evidence of feed.
Sgt. Steve Linam, an investigator on the property during the seizure, said, “I did walk the entire property. There was no supplemental feed found.”
Clower said that she is still working to find homes for the horses but all are healthy.
“They have probably 6 to 10 inches of grass to graze,” she said.
Felix Moritz said that he intends to file a lawsuit against the county, city, Clower and Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, among others.
Felix and Amanda Moritz both said that Bluebonnet was named in the suit because they were called when 10 horses were seized from Amanda Moritz’s property near Tynan in 2008.
One of those horses died following that seizure.
Linam, for a story back then, said that the cause of death was malnutrition.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.