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Officials seize livestock from Longview property after complaints of animal neglect

By Sarah Thomas sthomas@news-journal
July 22, 2013 at 10 p.m.

Two horses and two calves were seized Monday afternoon from a northwest Longview property after city officials said neighbors grew tired of feeding them.

"They felt compassion for the animals and after seeing they were neglected, they stepped up," said Buck Farrar, environmental health supervisor for the city of Longview. "You could tell by looking at these animals it wasn't just a few days without food. This was a chronic problem that was going on for days."

Richard Fincher, executive director of Safe Haven Equine Rescue, said the animals' pen was not stocked with food or water.

"There's no hay, nothing really for them to feed on. The water trough, I took pictures of it, and it's empty," he said.

Farrar said neighbors called the Animal Control Office and officers obtained a warrant for seizure of all animals, including two dogs, on the property in the 3400 block of Brent Road.

"They (neighbors) felt like there was welfare issues with the animals being neglected and underweight," Fincher said. "You can see it's pretty obvious they've been abused."

Farrar said animal control officers would likely have to return to the property with traps for the dogs that ran from officers.

Fincher's initial examination placed the horses' body rating at a three on a scale of one to nine with one being the worst condition.

He said he wouldn't speculate about the calves' condition or weight because his expertise lies with horses.

Fincher said his organization understands people get into situations where they can no longer take care of large animals. He urged people to call Safe Haven for help.

"The economy is still dragging on people. We have people who just don't want to give their animals up. They'll say, 'these are my babies.' Well, if they are your babies, how come you're not taking care of them," he said.

He said he regularly gets calls from people asking for help for their animals at which time he'll help with placement or even provide feed.

"We'll be glad to come out and help. Maybe we can take them a bale of hay or two or a bag of feed," Fincher said.

Farrar said a disposition hearing has been set for Friday in the Longview Municipal Court.



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