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Custody of five starving horses awarded

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SPCA of Texas Awarded Custody of Five Starving Horses
Seized on September 2, 2009

(LANCASTER, TX/McKINNEY, TX); September 9, 2009-Judge Valencia Nash awarded custody of five starving horses to the SPCA of Texas today at a custody hearing held at 9 a.m. at the Lancaster Sub-Courthouse, Justice of the Peace Pct. 1-2. Restitution in the amount of $3,134 was also awarded to the SPCA of Texas.

"The Court finds that based on the evidence the animals have been cruelly treated. The Court is ruling that the SPCA (of Texas) take the animals into custody for their health and safety," said Judge Nash.

"I saw five horses severely malnourished, one with a severe injury. He couldn't even straighten out his hoof and walk on his hoof," said Detective Karnes with the Hutchins Police Department.

Detective Hinojosa, also with the Hutchins Police Department, said, "I saw five horses, one was penned up and his ankle was injured. All were very, very thin. One of their harnesses had grown into one of their faces."

The horses will now be individually evaluated for potential adoption or placement on a case by case basis.

In an effort to find homes for the horses currently available for adoption at the SPCA of Texas, the organization is offering a 50% off adoption fee special through September 13. To view all horses (and other pets) currently up for adoption at the SPCA of Texas, people may visit www.spca.org/findapet.

Under the authority of the Hutchins Police Department, the SPCA of Texas seized five horses on Wednesday, September 2 from a property in Hutchins, TX in Dallas County.

To download photos from the location, visit www.spca.org/hutchenshorses.

SPCA of Texas vehicles transported the horses to the Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney, where they were cared for until the custody hearing.

The five horses--two mares, two foals and one stud--were being housed at an unattended boarding stable and were not being given appropriate food and water. They are all extremely underweight and have severely overgrown hooves.  

The stud was locked in a stall and appears to be suffering from a severe medical condition involving one of his hooves. The mares and foals were located in a fenced enclosure. Witnesses to the situation stated that the horses' owner hadn't given the animals food and water on a regular basis.

Acting at request of the Hutchins Police Department, SPCA of Texas Humane Investigators visited the property in question in late August. The SPCA of Texas made multiple attempts to contact the horses' owner, but with no response of any kind forthcoming, the SPCA of Texas agreed with the Hutchins Police Department that immediate action was needed as the horses were in severe distress. 

The SPCA of Texas has several horses that are already looking for homes at the Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney and encourages the public to consider adopting a horse if now is the right time to add a large new family member. This will help the SPCA of Texas make room for these seized horses. To view all horses (and other pets) currently up for adoption at the SPCA of Texas, people may visit www.spca.org/findapet.

Those who are interested in livestock adoptions through the SPCA of Texas may visit www.spca.org/livestock at their convenience to complete an application to begin the adoption process. It is not necessary to have already picked out a livestock animal to adopt to begin the process.

To help the SPCA of Texas fund future rescues like this and to support the SPCA of Texas' other programs and services, please visit www.spca.org/helptheanimals. To learn more about the SPCA of Texas, please visit our website at www.spca.org/.

The SPCA of Texas is the leading animal welfare agency in North Texas with two shelters and two spay/neuter clinics located in Dallas and McKinney, and serves as an active resource center providing an array of programs and services that bring people and animals together to enrich each others' lives. A comprehensive animal welfare agency, the SPCA of Texas is not affiliated with any other entity and does not receive general operating funds from the City of Dallas, State of Texas, federal government or any other humane organization.

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