Six horses have been removed under warrant from a New York property as part of an investigation into alleged neglect.
The animals taken from the Newstead farm on Thursday afternoon are now under the care of the SPCA Serving Erie County.
On Monday, the SPCA received an anonymous complaint from a source who had entered the barn on the property and took photographs of the horses in their current condition. Those photographs were forwarded to the SPCA.
Noting that some of the horses appeared thin in the photographs, SPCA officers headed to the property the following day.
The SPCA’s lead officer in the case, Jessica Coughlin, received permission to enter the property and photographed the horses upon arrival.
On Wednesday, she presented the photographs and other information to Newstead town justice Dennis Freeman, who signed a warrant allowing SPCA officers and a large-animal veterinarian to again enter the property to further investigate the situation, examine the horses, and remove those deemed in need of rescue. They executed the warrant on Thursday afternoon.
The property, understood to be the subject of a foreclosure action, according to the SPCA, was deemed unsafe by its officers and farmstaff at the scene, with holes in the barn roof, fencing in disrepair, and at least two stalls filled with at least one foot of manure.
Two of the horses were described as extremely thin, three were thin, while one was said to be at a more acceptable weight.
The charity said some of the horses were in need of significant dental work. One horse was suffering from paraphimosis, and would be receiving further care for this condition which, if left untreated, could lead to paralysis.
All six horses were transported to the charity’s educational farm behind its Tonawanda shelter.
The veterinarian on-scene on Thursday will be at the SPCA today performing further medical exams and tests on the horses.
Charges were pending against the horse owner, the SPCA said.
People can contribute towards the care of the horses here.