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Judge awards starving horses to Safe Haven

By Richard Yeakley
Nov. 27, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Emaciated horses seized from a Rusk County pasture last week were awarded to Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement Home on Tuesday.

Rusk County Justice of the Peace for Pct. 5, Joe Sorrells, presided over the seizure hearing which resulted in the three horses and three dogs being taken from the owner.

The animals were found on the pasture on County Road 4223 in south Rusk County,

The horses were seized Wednesday by Rusk County sheriff's deputies because they were extremely malnourished and "had taken a turn for the worse," said Safe Haven Executive Director Richard Fincher.

The seized horses - a gelding and two mares - were taken to Safe Haven in Upshur County, where after thorough examination they were found to have a body condition score between one and two on a one to nine scale, with one being starving and nine being obese, said Fincher said.

Fincher said the Rusk County sheriff's department had been monitoring the condition of the animals and a Nov. 20 check in prompted the animals' seizure.

Viki Penny, spokesman for the Rusk County sheriff's office, said it was unknown at this time if the animals' owners would face criminal charges in connection with the animals' conditions.

The land where the starving animals were found had no house or barn on it, Penny said.

The dogs were given to Henderson Animal Shelter, Sorrells said.

Sorrells added that the woman who represented the animals' owner was Carolina Lowe; however, Lowe was not available for contact late Tuesday.

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