76 Arabian horses seized from Texas ranch

August 18, 2009

Some of the horses seized from a Texas property.

Police in Texas have seized 76 Arabian horses from a property in Denton County over concerns about their condition.

The animals were seized by Denton County sheriffs on Friday. It is understood the horses are being cared for by staff and volunteers of the North Texas Humane Society (HSNT) and some private contractors.

The society described what they found on the property as gruesome.

"Animal control officers seized 76 emaciated Arabian horses from an equestrian farm there ... HSNT volunteers and staff are now providing them care and completing their veterinarian evaluations."

The society has put out an urgent appeal for hay, specialised feed for putting condition on thin horses, tack and money for vet bills.

The owner of the property, aged in his 60s, is expected to be charged with cruelty to livestock in coming days, an offence punishable by up to a year in jail and a $US4000 fine.

Initial assessments of the horses found 20 were extremely malnourished and 40 seriously underfed.

Restoring the animals to full weight will take many months.

Early reports suggest some of the horses were found in stalls thick with dung and urine.

Police were alerted to the condition of the horses after a person who went to inspect the 43-acre property, which is on the market, was concerned at the condition of the animals.