Homes Sought for Horses Seized in W.Va. Drug Case

Animal welfare authorities in West Virginia are hoping avoid euthanizing three special needs horses seized during a crime investigation by finding permanent homes for the animals.

Tom Zielinsky, executive director of the Hancock County, W.Va., Office of Technology and Communications, said that the three horses were among nine equines seized this past spring by county law enforcement authorities in connection with an illegal drug investigation case. The horses' owners later relinquished the animals to the county, he said. No further details about the drug case were available.

Since the seizure, six horses have been adopted by the families that provided foster care while the investigation was under way, Zielinsky said. The three horses remain in the care of county animal welfare officials, he said.

"Some of the horses were in pretty bad shape when they were seized," Zielinsky said. "These three were in especially bad shape."

Hancock County Senior Dog Warden Nicole Busick said that all three of the horses had spent their lives in 8-foot-by-10-foot stalls inside a barn. One of the horses is a 4-year-old and very small due to poor nutrition and confinement in a small area, she relayed. The other two, estimated to be between 7 and 9 years old, have little leg strength due to lack of exercise, she added.

"We know for sure that all three would do well as pasture pets," Busick said.

Zielinsky said he had hoped to place the three horses in October, but Superstorm Sandy intervened.

"When horses from Sandy-affected areas moved in, they were taken in by farms that probably would have taken these three," Zielinsky said.

Zielinksy still hopes to find permanent homes for the horses before the onset of winter.

Anyone interested in adopting one or more of these special needs horses should call Busick at 304/564-3311, ext. 292

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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