Pierce County authorities removed 39 “scared” horses, many of them in poor health, from reportedly unhealthy living conditions in the Graham area Wednesday.
Animal Control officers began seizing the horses in the morning from property in the 30800 block of Meridian East. The officers served a search warrant in response to another law enforcement agency’s concerns over the health of the horses.
Officers reported the horses were being kept in deplorable conditions, according to authorities. Many of the horses had medical issues, some were very thin, and some have various types of injuries. Most of the horses were in barns that had large amounts of urine and feces in the stalls and aisle ways. Some of the barns had no lighting or ventilation, and the smell of ammonia was strong, officials said.
In an effort involving several agencies, all of the horses were taken to an undisclosed location for veterinary care and to be held as evidence, officials said. One ton of feed was delivered to feed the animals.
“This is the largest seizure of horses that Pierce County Animal Control has ever undertaken,” said county Auditor Julie Anderson, whose agency oversees Animal Control. “Horses are expensive animals to seize and care for.”
She added that the horses had been living “with no sunlight” and “are very scared.”
Information on the horses’ owners or responsible parties wasn’t available, but they could face charges of animal cruelty, officials said.