Horse Rescue Fails in Durant

7-15-04 - Several attempts to rescue horses thought to be abandoned in Durant were thwarted Thursday, when a man claiming to be their owner showed up and led them away. The act outraged several people who’d been caring for the horses for weeks, and who had arranged to find them a new home.

After the initial story aired on First News at Ten Wednesday night, dozens of callers wanted to help the horses. By noon Friday, a relative of the man who owned the property was prepared to take the horses to a veterinarian for treatment, and then to several acres he owned. But before that could happen, the owner of the property refused to let anyone touch the animals, and a police officer called to the scene said it would be up to a judge to release the horses.

But by mid-afternoon, the group of men had returned, this time with a man who claimed to own the horses. They were then led several miles away to another field, as the owner claimed they had been feeding the animals every other day.

It’s a claim the volunteer caregivers furiously dispute. They’re promising not to give up the fight until the horses have proper care.