Sandy Shelby, executive director of the Fort Worth-based animal rights organization, described a roughly 15-acre patch of pastures and a stable as a “concentration camp,” strewn with the carcasses of 20 horses, some partially buried, among 47 emaciated survivors.
Shelby and other humane society workers, several veterinarians and Hill County Sheriff Department officers also rescued seven donkeys and six dogs in better condition, and a seriously malnourished rabbit at the operation that called itself “Thunderfoot Equine Rehab and Rescue.”
Grandview is about 35 miles south of downtown Fort Worth.
“I said concentration camp because they were starving,” Shelby said Saturday night in an interview with the Star-Telegram. “They were in a place they couldn’t leave on their own. They were starving and they were suffering.”
Two of the horses rescued when sheriff deputies executed the seizure warrant on Tuesday have since died, Shelby said, and described only 10 horses as “not in critical condition.”
The survivors are being treated at the Humane Society’s ranch in Joshua.
The owner of Thunderfoot Rehab and Rescue said she received many of the horses from racetracks after being injured. She [insisted] they never went without food.
In addition, she said her family and friends have helped to feed them in the past month after she injured her back.
Note: Caren Brown (aka Caren Dohrmann Brown, Caren Dohrmann), Stephen Brown and Alexis Bright are listed on CorporationWIKI as the Directors of the group.
The animals were seized after a complaint about their severe condition was filed, the website reported.
Animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor, can be upgraded to a state jail felony depending on the severity of injury to each animal, mySA.com reported.
Shelby said she will testify at the hearing as a witness to the life-threatening condition of most of the animals.
Shelby said this is the third such emotionally overwhelming case the group has handled in the past month and a half, at operations calling themselves rescues or sanctuaries. The largest was near Abilene, where 218 animals were seized, including 162 dogs, 25 cats along with donkeys, potbellied pigs, a rooster and some ducks, she said. A number of dead animals also were found.
The Humane Society is assembling a group of volunteers to help take care of the animals. Call the volunteer coordinator at (817) 332-4768 if you want to participate. Donations can be made on the website. Shelby said veterinary bills have already soared beyond $10,000.
(star-telegram.com - November 20, 2016)