Saturday, November 19, 2016

Texas: 50 malnourished horses seized, 20 others dead at ‘concentration camp’ ranch that billed itself as the Thunderfoot Equine Rescue and Rehab Ranch

TEXAS -- More than 50 malnourished animals, most of them horses, were seized Tuesday from a rescue ranch in North Texas after a complaint about the living conditions for the animals there was made, according to the Hill County Sheriff’s Department.

The sheriff’s department, in coordination with the Humane Society of North Texas, seized 47 horses, five donkeys, six dogs and a rabbit from the Thunderfoot Equine Rescue and Rehab Ranch near Grandview, said HCSD Chief Deputy Rick White in an interview with

Thunderfoot Equine Rehab and Rescue purportedly takes in retired Thoroughbreds and retrains them for equine therapy or adopts them out. The group’s Facebook page is no longer public.

Note: Caren Brown, Stephen Brown and Alexis Bright are listed on CorporationWIKI as the Directors.

The investigators obtained a seizure warrant for those animals after receiving a complaint about the living conditions for the animals. What they found caused them to be immediately concerned, White said.

“These animals depend on humans,” White said. “There was no running water, there was no food, no hay.”

Sandy Shelby, executive director of the Humane Society of North Texas, said in an interview with a CBS TV station that the animals were not in a good place.
“It was a concentration camp,” Shelby told the TV station. “When you create starvation and suffering, that’s pretty much an equal comparison.”

The investigators also found about 20 graves for dead horses, with some graves only partially buried with bones extending out from the dirt, White said.

The horses’ untreated injuries included a broken jaw and a maggot infested laceration down to the bone.

A hearing will be held at 3 p.m. Monday to determine if the seizure warrants will stay in place, White said.

 The woman who ran the ranch has not been charged with anything yet, but she does face potential charges of animal cruelty. Animal cruelty, while generally a Class A misdemeanor, can be upgraded to a state jail felony depending on the extent of injury or abuse to each animal.

In this case, the woman faces possible felony charges for each animal in the case, with about 70 possible cases of animal cruelty, White said.

The chief deputy said the horses have since been transferred under the care of the humane society to various veterinarians and care facilities, with most at a location in Joshua, which is about 22 miles northwest of Grandview.

Many of the horses are struggling to recover. One of the 47 horses seized died Wednesday, White said.

“It’s a slow process,” White said. “You can’t let them gorge on the food.”

(MySanAntonio - November 18, 2016)

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