More than 50 allegedly maltreated horses are receiving rehabilitative care after being seized from a farm Hill County, Texas, farm.
Hill County Sheriff Rodney B. Watson said authorities seized 52 horses residing on overgrazed pastures without access to other food or water from a farm near Itasca on Nov. 15. The remains of another 16 to 20 horses were found in shallow graves at the back of the property, he said.
“They were calling themselves a rescue,” Watson said of the property’s owners.
Although the animals’ body conditions remain under investigation, at least some of the horses appeared to be severely malnourished, Watson said.
“They were biting each other, fighting for what little food there was,” Watson said. “One of the horses had been kicked, and we found that it had a broken jaw.”
All the horses were dehydrated, he said.
Watson said one horse has been euthanized due to the animal’s condition and another four received immediate emergency veterinary treatment. The remaining 47 horses were placed with the Humane Society of North Texas, in Fort Worth, where they are receiving rehabilitative care, he said.
A hearing to determine whether the animals should be returned to their owner is slated for Nov. 21. Charges are pending the outcome of that hearing, Watson said.