A judge has awarded a Houston, Texas, equine welfare group custody of a herd of allegedly maltreated horses seized from their owners in Conroe, Texas.

In June, Montgomery County law enforcement authorities seized 207 allegedly maltreated horses from the Premium Star Ranch in Conroe. The animals’ owners Herman and Kathleen Hoffman were subsequently arrested and charged with 20 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and one court of third-degree evidence tampering. The Hoffmans turned themselves in to the Montgomery Sheriff’s Office and are free on bond.

The horses were placed in the care of the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) pending a hearing to determine their custody.

On July 30, District Judge Michael Seller awarded permanent custody of the horses to that agency.

In a written statement Houston SPCA President Patricia Mercer said that the animals’ rehabilitation will continue until they can be placed in appropriate adoptive homes.

“We will nurse them back to heath physically and mentally,” she said. “And we will find them new families where they will be loved.”

Meanwhile, the Hoffmans’ case remains pending.