Callaway's Hatfield and McCoys
In Callaway County, a quarrel between two neighbors dragged authorities into the mix. There's the Hatfields and McCoys. And in Callaway County, there's the Huddlestons and the Greens.
"It is a feud. Its started as over a leaky fire hydrant that was undermining my home," explained Bill Huddleston.
The feud he's talking about is with his neighbor, Amber Green.
"There is no reasoning with this person, so I've just stopped talking to her," Huddleston said.
Conflicts between neighbors aren't that rare, but what makes this one special is that their clashes are on public record. The Callaway County Sheriff has 30 pages of reports from the last three years of instances where either Huddleston or Green has called the authorities on each other. The calls have ranged from starting a controlled burn too close their home, to letting a dog defecate on the other's property. But most of the reports talk about one thing: Green's horses.
Green currently has nine horses on three and a half acres of land, which spend a lot of their time on the front of the property. That property is right outside Huddleston's doorstep. Huddleston says at first the big problem was the mess left from their waste during runoff.
"She thought this was very funny, she sat there and giggled and told me to consider this free fertilizer," Huddleston said.
So he put up railroad ties in his front yard. But he says the horses also run loose in the neighborhood often, and he has other concerns about the horses themselves.
"To see them mistreated, and abused in this way, it's just sad," he said.
He claims the horses go days without food and water. But Green says she feeds them every day, and if she knows she won't be by one day, she double feeds the day before. There is no animal control in Callaway County, so there's little jurisdiction for investigation into animal health issues. But, after we showed experts at the University of Missouri pictures of the horses, they determined there wasn't much, legally, that could be done, because the horses weren't extremely unhealthy. That's an opinion that was mirrored by one of the most recent sheriff's department reports, which says the conditions are not that great, but nothing to condone criminal charges.
Huddleston says he's sick of the trouble. But Green says she's done nothing wrong, and just wants peace from Huddleston's relentless calls. Huddleston has called just about everyone in the book over the horses, to no avail. Locally, he contacted the sheriff's department, the health department, city council members and the mayor. He has also contacted the humane society, the governors office, and even his U.S. Senators.
"I don't back down, and neither does she, so they're out here playing referee between two people who just can't see eye to eye."
For the time being, it appears Huddleston may get some relief. Green's landlord recently ordered her to move most of the horses off her property due to terms of her contract forbidding commercial animal breeding. Amber Green was contacted many times by KOMU for this story, but did not agree to an on-camera interview.