THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. - An animal rescue service in Washington is calling one of their recent cases "one of the worst cases of animal abuse they've ever seen."
More 100 chickens, 23 miniature horses, 10 goats, eight dogs, as well as cats, rabbits, goats and birds were found living in horrific conditions at a backyard farm in Tenino, Washington. One dog was also found dead on the property.
KCPQ reports that some miniature horses were found living in mud, some were knee-deep and had no dry area to shelter.
"We had almost 150 that we moved to a secure location. When we put fresh water down for them, they just scrambled for that water. I don't know how long it has been since they had fresh water. It was heartbreaking to see that," said Kathy Bailey, president of Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County.
"There was a dog that was kept in a kennel that was filled with feces and urine. The food was thrown down on the feces for the dog to eat. The water bucket had old straw and feces on it and the water inside was full of algae," Bailey said.
The animals were removed from the backyard and now, staff and volunteers at Hooved Animal Rescue are working to nurse them all back to health.
"They have to X-ray their feet. They have gone for years without farrier care. Many have sores from being bitten by lice, rain rot and many are stallions who will need to be gelded before being adopted into homes. They all need dental work, and some of the horses need some weight put back on them to bring them back to health," Bailey said.
Thurston County Animal Services plan to recommend 19 charges for second-degree animal cruelty to the prosecutor's office against the owners.
"The owners did sign over the horses and all the poultry to our care, but not the rest of the animals," Bailey said.
They have 14 days to petition to have the dogs brought back home.
If you'd like to help, donations can be sent to Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County at PO Box 711, East Olympia, Wa 98540, or click here.