Two dozen horses are receiving rehabilitative care after law enforcement officials removed them and more than 200 other domestic animals, birds, and livestock from allegedly poor conditions on a property in Thurston County, Washington.
Kathy Bailey, president of Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County (HARTC), said sheriff’s office personnel responded to a complaint about allegedly neglected animals residing on a local property on March 11. On arrival they discovered in access of 200 allegedly maltreated domestic animals and livestock residing in filth, allegedly without access to clean water or food. Officials seized all the animals, including 23 Miniature Horses and one full-size horse; they placed the horses as well as several goats in HARTC’s care, Bailey said.
Bailey said all the seized horses have severely overgrown hooves and are in need of dental work. Some have body scores of between 1 and 2 on the 9-point Henneke Body Condition Scale, she said.
“I’ve been on a lot of these cases and this is the worst case I’ve seen,” Bailey said.
Thurston County’s Joint Animal Services took control of the remaining domestic animals—including cats, dogs, and birds—and sheriff’s office personnel took more than 200 chickens, turkeys, ducks, and doves to secure locations.
If charged, the animals’ owners could face animal cruelty charges, including some felony counts, Bailey said.
A joint animal services and sheriff’s office investigation is underway, she said.