Horses Abandoned in Trailer, Driver Charged

Seven horses that were abandoned in a trailer on the side of the road in Edmonton, Alberta, last week are doing well in foster care and are waiting to be claimed by their owner. Meanwhile, the driver of the trailer has been charged under Alberta's Animal Protection Act.

On Sunday night, Edmonton police received a complaint about an abandoned truck and trailer near an industrial section of the city. A patrol officer responded to the call and discovered the horses standing in manure. They had very little feed and no water.

The horses had been left there at least two days, and possibly three, said acting Det. Gary Benoit. Police likely weren't alerted earlier because the truck and trailer were abandoned near an impound lot. "There are lots of cars just left around there, so nobody really investigated, and it wasn't close enough to a place where someone would have heard noises," he said.

Police have not released the name of the driver of the vehicle, a 74-year old rancher from McBride, British Columbia. The driver, who was delivering the horses from a seller in British Columbia to a buyer in Manitoba, only said that his truck broke down and it was too cold to stay with the truck.

"He never explained why he didn't ask someone for help and that's what we don't understand," Benoit said.

Northlands, an agricultural venue in Edmonton, is fostering the horses temporarily while police try to contact the owners in Manitoba.

"We're more than happy to accommodate them," said Ken Knowles, Northlands president, noting that despite their ordeal, the horses appear to be in good condition.

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Liz Brown

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