More than 30 Horses Seized in Washington State

More than 30 horses are in law enforcement authorities' care in Washington State after being removed from filthy conditions at a Pierce County breeding farm.

Pierce County auditor Julie Anderson said that on Sept. 25 U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration personnel found the animals while attempting to serve drug-related warrants. When found, the horses were contained in filthy stalls in barns located around the property, she said. Pierce County animal welfare authorities removed the animals the following day, Anderson said.

"The horses were seized primarily because of the condition of the property and buildings, which are easily characterized as 'horrific,'" Anderson said.

Of the 39 animals, only a couple are thin and none are starving, Anderson said. Some have untreated illnesses and apparently non-life threatening injuries, she said, and most have hoof issues due to stall conditions and lack of care. The horses are receiving complete veterinary examinations, she said.

"Also, the horses haven't been handled in a very long time and are skittish and unruly, requiring highly skilled horsemen," Anderson said.

No charges have been filed pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation, Anderson said.

"We are assembling our investigation and will send it to the Prosecutor's Office with a recommendation for second degree cruelty," said Anderson.

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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