South Carolina Abuse Investigation: Horses Impounded in Georgia Found

Georgia officials visited Richland County, S.C., on Monday to attend court proceedings connected with the ongoing horse abuse case there. But before they left, they discovered that a total of 25 horses formerly under quarantine in Georgia had found their way to South Carolina.

Hazelene E. Trexler, 70, and her son Terry A. Trexler, 44, each face 30 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty by starvation charges in Jefferson County, Ga., along with additional charges in South Carolina. James Trexler, one of South Carolina's three assistant agriculture commissioners, is charged with five counts of misdemeanor cruelty.

According to Michael Privett, DVM, the veterinarian caring for the horses seized in the Trexler case, Georgia officials joined South Carolina humane officials to examine a site where a herd of 17 horses belonging to the Trexlers were kept. All 17 of the horses found at that site are now in the custody of the Richland County Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (HSPCA).

"The Georgia officials found 12 in that bunch that they identified as having been brought to South Carolina from Georgia," Privett said.

Privett said most of the horses in the herd of 17 were in "pretty good shape," attributing their relatively good condition to the care they received while in quarantine in Georgia. He estimated that they had been in the Richland County pasture for about three months.

Another 13 of the formerly quarantined Georgia horses were also identified among 28 horses seized by the HSPCA last week, said agency spokesman Kelly Graham.

According to a statement by Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, the 25 horses found in South Carolina were impounded in Georgia from property leased by the Trexlers. The horses were quarantined for Coggins testing last October. Sometime in November, "a large number" had been moved in violation of the quarantine.

A preliminary hearing for animal abuse charges in the case is slated for March 17.

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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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