Horses Seized from Area Ranch

8-23-06 - The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is squaring off against a Cooke County rancher after seizing 7 horses the SPCA claims are emaciated and injured.

The horses appear to be malnourished and one has severe wounds from a halter that was too tight.

SPCA officials say there was little water on the property and the horses were only being fed sweet feed, which is not an appropriate equine diet.

The SPCA further states that "the horses all have various wounds and scrapes all over their bodies, and one had a length of wire tangled around one leg as of yesterday. On a condition scoring system of one to nine, which is the standard nationwide rating system, four of the horses ranked only between 2 and 3."

The quarter horses were seized by the authority of the Cooke County Sheriff's department, and the SPCA of Texas was granted temporary custody pending a hearing, which will take place on Wednesday, August 30 at 10 a.m. at the J.P Precinct 4, Place 1 courthouse at 304 West O'Buch in Valley View, TX.

A concerned neighbor reported the suspected animal cruelty/neglect to the SPCA, who in turn reported it to the Cooke County Sheriff's department after a visit to the property and accompanying suggestions for improvement in the horses' care several months ago was ignored by the property owner. The property owners may face criminal charges of animal cruelty.

First News spoke with the horses' owner Wednesday night. He said he'd been caring for the horses, but admitted to a lack of hay, due to the drought.