The fate of 57 horses taken from a Hopkins County farm on May 9 by two animal rescue organizations will be decided next week in a Hopkins County courtroom.
The horses were removed from the local farm and sent to various foster homes across the state, said Jennifer Williams with Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society in Houston.
Williams said it was the largest equine rescue she has ever been involved with.
“This is unusually large,” she said. “I’ve been doing this since 1998, and this was the biggest one I’ve been involved with.”
True Blue Animal Rescue in Brenham received the initial complaint and contacted Williams after realizing the number of horses involved.
“When it came time that it looked like it was going to have to be a seizure, we went to the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office, and they signed on,” Williams said. “They came out, and the Sulphur Springs Police Department came out. They served the warrant while we were catching and loading horses.”
There were 57 horses still alive. One lay dead on the ground. All appeared to be malnourished and facing health issues, Williams said.
“A lot of details will come out in court that I can’t give out yet, but what I can tell you is that they appeared to have been without food for quite some time, and without proper, or any, veterinarian or medical care,” she said. “They were living in definitely unsanitary conditions, and there were some that probably didn’t have a whole lot of time left if we didn’t intervene. We’ve had one that has seen the vet a couple of times so far, but she is fighting [to live].”
The horses are in different holding facilities across the state. The case will be heard Tuesday afternoon in Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Yvonne King’s court.
“Once we get to court, if the judge agrees that the horses were neglected, she can award them to the two rescue organizations, we can put them in foster homes around the state, one or two at a time,” she said. “In the foster homes, they’ll get hands-on, one-on-one care, and for those that need it, round-the-clock attention. We’ll slowly bring their weight up and get their health issues under control, and eventually we’ll find adopters for them, but not until they’re healthy and sound.”
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