Allegedly Maltreated Horse Herd Seized in Indiana

More than 80 horses are receiving rehabilitative care after being seized from a pair of properties in Jefferson County, Ind.

Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Yancy Denning said he was investigating an allegedly stolen horse trailer on Jan. 6 when he noticed horses wandering the property.

“I couldn't find any feed anywhere and the pond where the horses get water was beginning to freeze over,” Denning said.

Further investigations revealed that other horses allegedly owned by the same man had died on another property due to lack food and water, Denning said. Their carcasses were allegedly disposed of inappropriately, he said.

Another group of horses belonging to the same owner were allegedly found running at large in search of food and water, Denning said.

“The owner was charged with four counts of failing to properly dispose of livestock, one count of animal cruelty, and one count of animals running at large,” he said.

The animals' owner Jeff Hayes was in Jefferson County Sheriff's Department custody on another charge and was unavailable for comment.

Denning said all the horses are receiving rehabilitative treatment.

“We have placed all the horses with foster families around the area, and each horse is being body-scored by a veterinarian and receiving other care,” Denning said.

The investigation is ongoing.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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