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Ferris: 18 horses and 7 dogs seized from property

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FERRIS - The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department seized 18 horses, two dogs and five puppies from a property near Ferris, Friday, Aug. 13.

According to a news release from the SPCA,several of the horses were being cruelly confined and many of the animals were in immediate need of veterinary care.

Most of the animals were lacking basic care and did not have access to fresh water.

The current heat wave, combined with the lack of fresh water, put the animals’ health at even greater risk.

Two of the horses were being kept in a makeshift pen measuring approximately eight feet by 10 feet and were standing in mud about eight to ten inches deep.

The horses were unable to move freely and were covered in mud and feces.

Another horse, living in another makeshift pen located directly above the septic tank line, was forced to stand in over a foot of raw sewage coming up from the septic system.

A fourth horse, found tied to a tree, had limited movement to the point that he couldn’t stand comfortably.

None of these horses had access to a water source.

Five additional horses were living in a barn on the property.

One of these horses was cribbing severely (chewing on her enclosure, making teeth marks in the steel).

Cribbing in horses occurs due to poor diet and/or stress according to most animal specialists.

Of the five horses living in the barn, three needed immediate veterinary attention due to severe open wounds on their bodies.

While these horses had access to water, what little there was "filthy, stagnant and undrinkable," according to the SPCA.

The other nine horses, found living in a pasture, had a range of body conditions from very thin to normal.

ECSO received a report on another horse recently who died due to lack of care at the same undisclosed address.

The two dogs are emaciated and weak.

One of the dogs was chained to a tree on the property without food, water or shelter. This dog is currently in critical condition.

The mother dog and the puppies remain in fair condition.

ECSO received a call regarding the animal’s conditions on Monday, July 12 and began attempting to work with the owner regarding the cruel confinement and the lack of care.

The owner was unresponsive.

The SCPA was called on Monday, Aug. 9 when an investigator visited the property.

The SPCA of Texas concurred with the ECSO it was in the animals’ best interest to obtain a warrant and remove the animals immediately. 

SPCA of Texas vehicles transported the animals to a vet in McKinney where they will be examined by medical staff and cared for until the custody hearing.

One horse who required specialized handling will be housed at an undisclosed location.

A custody hearing has been set for Friday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Ellis County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3 Courthouse at 101 W Main St in Waxahachie with Judge Curtis Polk presiding.

If the SPCA of Texas is awarded custody of the animals, they would be individually evaluated for potential adoption or placement on a case by case basis.

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