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March 20, 2014

Authorities seize allegedly abused horses

Several allegedly abused horses were seized Wednesday morning from a property north of Greenville, while animal welfare officials said they were too late to save one of the horses.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Texas joined with Hunt County Constable Precinct 1 Terry Jones in taking custody of five mares, two yearlings, one colt and one mule from a property on State Highway 34, about four miles north of Greenville. One deceased horse was also found on the property.

The SPCA of Texas reported all of the animals were found roaming freely inside the fenced property, but none had access to sufficient food.

All of the livestock had long and/or chipped and cracked hooves, some have hair loss and all were caked in mud. All of the horses were said to be emaciated, with visual body scores.

Three of the horses are lame. The mule has chipped and cracked hooves.

“These horses and the mule were not receiving enough food, and their basic care needs were not being met,” said Colby Grady, Chief Investigator for the SPCA of Texas. “The horses had started eating the bark off of trees, which can indicate that they have a mineral deficiency.”

The SPCA of Texas and Jones spoke with the animal owner on the property in mid-January, and worked out a plan to bring the animals’ living conditions into compliance with Texas Health and Safety Code.

The SPCA of Texas continued to regularly check on the animals’ conditions and has attempted to speak with the animal owner several times since then.

 However, the owner never responded and the animals’ living conditions did not improve. The SPCA of Texas and the Hunt County Constable’s Office concurred that it was in the animals’ best interest to remove them, and a seizure warrant was served Wednesday.

SPCA of Texas vehicles transported the animals to the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney, where they were being examined by medical staff and will be cared for until a custody hearing before Hunt County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Place 2 Sheila Linden at 10:30 a.m. March 26 at 10:30 a.m. in the Hunt County Criminal Justice Center, 2801 Stuart Street in Greenville.

If the SPCA of Texas is awarded custody of the animals, they would be individually evaluated for potential adoption or placement on a case by case basis.

It was the second time this month the agency and Jones has conducted a seizure. The SPCA of Texas acted to rescue  57 dogs, 26 cats, five puppies and one kitten March 5 from a home on County Road 2597 east of Royse City.

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