I just heard about this action that took place by a veterinarian that works for Texas A&M.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) – Ashlee Watts was indicted in July of 2021 with an ANIMAL CRUELTY charge.
In the hearings to revoke her license, by The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiner, we hear details of the events.
The 16 year old draft mare, and family pet was brought to Texas A&M, and placed under the care of Dr. Watts for treatment on an abcess in her right foot on Dec 17, 2019. The injury had been being treated by another doctor prior with home care, but the injury wasn’t responding to that treatment.
They left their beloved pet believing it was going to get top notch care. Little did they know, three days later, their horse would be dead. He wasn’t aware of the circumstances surrounding the death at that time. Before long, he would know of the horror.
All this came about when a video taken on December 19 was released and Mr. Berry was contacted by investigators.
Dr. Watts had been videoed repeatedly and agressively ‘hot shotting’ an injured horse at the college facility. It wasn’t just any horse, it was his horse ‘Allie.’
Surgery had taken place the day before on the 18th and it is found that the cattle prod ‘hot shot’ was used that day as well, and record of it was not documented. Though in this occurance the timeline, the amount of times hotshot was used, or the duration is not known.
Following surgery, the horse was put in a deep bedding stall for 17 hours without any care or follow up to get her to stand after surgery. It is known that the longer the horse is down, the less likely it is to recover.
The next day… on the 19th, as the horse is suspended with a lift, and Dr. Ashlee Watts used the hot shot continously for 14 minutes, took a short break for 8 min, and then continued to use the hotshot “relentlessly for the next 10 minutes”. An hour and a half later, “Allie is dead.” You can see others watching from a window. Dr. Watts did not document this portion of the treatment in her medical records either. No transparency.
Here are portions of Allie’s Attorney Jerry Bergman’s opening statement: (@28min.) From his statements he describes the horrifying 24 minutes.
During this 24 minutes, “Dr. Watts administered over 1000 prods, with this hotshot. Both dry and live.”
‘The hotshot that is meant to be used on cows, the purpose of a hotshot is to inflict pain through an electical current, its a stimulant. Make no mistake about this, Dr Watts knew she was inflicting pain on Allie.”
“Dr. Watts hotshots Allies’ eyes, her muzzle, and at one point in the video, she puts the hotshot inside of Allie’s ear canal and hotshots it. She hotshots Allies neck, her shoulder, her legs. She hotshots the feet, she hotshots Allie’s bandaged hoof, which is counterintutive if you are trying to get the horse to stand. She hotshots Allie’s underbelly, she hotshots Allie’s ribs.
She hotshots Allie’s tailhead, and for the laymen in the group including myself, the tailhead where the tail meets the body of the horse, places the hotshot right underneath there and proceeds to prodder and hotshot her.
She hotshots the perineum area, for the layman there, the anus and the vulva region of Allie. She does all of this. It’s almost easier for me to tell the court today what parts Allie was not hotshotted on.
Dr. Watts wants you to believe her actions were appropriate.”
(watch Dr. Greens, Watt’s supporter’s body language when 1000 prod, hotshot in ear canal, and the anus and vulva area are mentioned, she seems to almost gasp.)
This is just a 15 minute portion of the three day public testimony. Watch it for yourself. (links below)
The video and testimony is horrific!!!
Texas A&M Universtity., Watts, A. (2019, dec 19). Veternarian Ashlee Watts repeatedly shocking an injured horse with cattle prod. Video. Texas A&M Universtity.
(In this partial video of just a ‘few minutes’, I counted over 41 attempts with hot shot on the horse, on body, mouth, face, neck, and vaginal/rectum area).
Prior to the hearings documents were filed in her favor
Pardue, K.(2019, nov 10). Order lifting Temporary Suspension of Ashlee Watts D.V.M. Complaint no. 22-059. Enforcement Committee of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. 1p.
https://www.facebook.com/ForDazzle/photos/3172501779640452 IMG IMGarchive WHBA
Watts, A.E. (2021, dec 13). Application for Probation for Ashlee E. Watts, DVM. No. 21-03776-CRF-361
(Watts is attempting to preemptively request probation, should she be found guilty by a jury of her peers.)
The HEARINGS BEGIN
The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is asking the state to revoke Watts’ license.
The State Office Of Administrative Hearings, (SOAH). (2022, mar 11). Complaint: Texas Board Of Veterinary Medical Examiners V. Ashlee Watts, D.V.M. Soah Docket No. 578-22-2050. 8p.
State Office of Administrative Hearings. (2023, feb 9). Trial. Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners v. Ashlee Watts. case 578-22-2050.
- (Hearing Day 1). Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners v. Ashlee Watts
(Opening statements – 29:m / Ashlee Watts pleads the fifth as not to damage her testimony for future animal cruelty trial./ Dr. Valen, a witness and student who participated in the lifting of Allie)
- (Hearing Day 2). Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners v. Ashlee Watts
- (Hearing Day 3). Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners v. Ashlee Watts
(Kristi Kettman, Scott Berry’s testimony, owner of Allie from Colorado Springs, filed demand letter with University, was told by AG that universities were exempt from lawsuits. A&M Wanted to negotiate settlement., was told by school they wouldn’t release him the video, but Watts offerered for him to view it with her. Covid interruppted that effort.)
Dealing with the after affects
Mr. Berry stated in testimony, in an investigation sometimes you have to see things, even if you don’t want to.
But currently, he states his family have still not seen the video, and for their sake…. I hope they never do.
When you love your animals, and know you would do anything for their comfort and wellbeing, to witness this would be heartbreaking to say the least.
To know that while you thought you were doing what was best for them, by bringing them to a prestiged college who specializes in treatment, you actually put them in the hands of a monster who tortured them relentlessly until they died, and then cannot be held liable for their negligence due to laws that protect them.
That would be hard to live with! My heart is heavy for them. Once seen, it can’t be unseen!
‘Dr. Ashlee Watts’
was arrested in October 2021
Mug shot provided by
Brazos County Detention Center
This Animal Cruelty case, featuring the incompassionate ‘Dr. Ashlee Watts’ is coming in the near future.
There is a status hearing set for Feb. 24, 2023, and a trial date of June 26, 2023, in that case.
According to news articles, Watts was named in two previous lawsuits prior to her arrest in 2021.
There was a foal named Dazzle, owner Heather Kutyba, who filed suit and went up against the state board. While the case was thrown out, and appeal denied, the truth of Dazzle’s time spent in the care of Dr. Watts will forever be on record at a website they created in her memory. Here is Heather and Dazzle’s story. https://www.fordazzle.com/
At the district court hearing, “The judge erupted in anger and outrage. He spoke harshly towards the defense at their insinuation that TAMU nor Dr. Ashlee Watts was subject to responsibility for patients. Leaving no room for miscommunication of his discontent, he pointedly stated:
What is a HOTSHOT?
An electric cattle prod is a stick with electrodes on the end which is used to make cattle move via a relatively high-voltage, low-current electric shock.
A hotshot is typically cylindrical, and can carry an open electric current at the “shock end” when activated. The electric current at the shock end runs through two metal electrodes. Anything that touches the electric current receives a high-voltage low-current shock, not strong enough to kill a human or a large animal such as a cow or sheep from short-term exposure, but strong enough to cause significant pain. – WIKI
According to industry experts:
“An electric prod should NOT be a person’s primary driving tool. It should only be picked up and used when absolutely required to move a stubborn animal and then put back down. People should NOT be constantly carrying electric prods. / Electric prods should be used sparingly to move livestock. If an electric prod causes an animal to squeal or bellow it is causing stress! Animals that vocalize are stressed animals.” – Temple Grandin (2022).
“Electric prods should only be used when absolutely necessary and never applied to a sensitive area (animal’s mouth, eyes, ears, nose, anus, vulva, testicles, or belly). Applying a prod to any animal’s sensitive areas is considered a willful act of abuse)” – Temple Grandin (2021).
The World Organization For Animal Health states certain requirements for ‘able’ animals in transport, but clearly it could apply to animals like Allie who are completely non-able.
When moving animals, their species-specific behaviour should be used (see Article 7.3.12.). If goads and other aids are necessary, the following principles should apply:
- Animals that have little or no room to move should not be subjected to physical force or goads and other aids which compel movement. Electric goads and prods should only be used in extreme cases and not on a routine basis to move animals. The use and the power output should be restricted to that necessary to assist movement of an animal and only when an animal has a clear path ahead to move. Goads and other aids should not be used repeatedly if the animal fails to respond or move. In such cases it should be investigated whether some physical or other impediment is preventing the animal from moving.
- The use of such devices should be limited to battery-powered goads on the hindquarters of pigs and large ruminants, and never on sensitive areas such as the eyes, mouth, ears, anogenital region or belly. Such instruments should not be used on horses, sheep and goats of any age, or on calves or piglets.)
We we will update when we have more, and hopefully it ends with a prison sentence and her license revoked permanently!
Personally, I think she looks pretty good in those stripes!
I hold that the more helpless a creature,Mahatma Gandhi
the more entitled it is to protection by man
from the cruelty of man.