Fifteen horses have been removed from an Oregon property because of concerns over the wellbeing of the animals.
The Oregon Humane Society removed the horses from a property in Clatskanie.
The condition of the horses came to the attention of the society through the report of a visitor to the property, who said that she saw two horses down and possibly in critical condition.
On a visit to the site the next day, an investigator saw a dead horse on the property.
A Columbia County animal control officer and the humane society visited the site a second time, at which time it became clear that the horses had not received proper care.
The society said in a statement that investigators found several underweight horses on the property. One appeared to have sores on its body, possibly from constant moisture exposure.
The society, working with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant on the property this week and removed the horses. The society is working with Sound Equine Options, a Gresham-based nonprofit, to provide ongoing care for the horses.
Investigators are currently evaluating the animals and had not issued citations against the owners at the time of writing.
The horses are being cared for at an undisclosed location.
First degree animal neglect is punishable by fines of up to $US6250 and 30 days in jail. The offense is elevated to a felony charge if 10 or more animals are involved, with a fine of up to $US125,000 and a maximum prison term of five years.