THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. - Authorities say it's one of the worst cases of animal abuse they've ever seen and now, almost 150 animals have been rescued from a backyard farm in Tenino, WA.
The animals were found living in horrific conditions and included 23 miniature horses, 10 goats, eight dogs, cats, rabbits, pet birds and more than 100 chickens. One dog was even found lying dead on the property.
The miniature horses were found living in mud up to their knees in places with nowhere to shelter from the elements.
Authorities say they also don't know how long it had been since the animals were given fresh water. When they put fresh water on the ground they witnessed the animals in an all out scramble to try and get to it... but it gets even worse.
The goats for example were rescued from stalls filled with feces in a barn where it appears they were never allowed to leave. A dog was found locked in a kennel also filled with feces and no bowls to eat. The dog food was thrown down on top of the feces and the water bowl was willed with algae and feces as well.
Rescuers from the Hooved Animal Rescue and Animal Services took the animals from the horrendous conditions on Sunday. They are now working to nurse all of them back to health which will come with a big price tag.
Many of the miniature horses were found with severely overgrown hooves and will require X-rays on their feet. The X-rays alone are expected to cost as much as $15,000.
Donations can be sent to Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County at PO Box 711, East Olympia, Wa 98540 or made through PayPal or at their website at https://www.har-otc.org/
The owners of the farm will most likely be facing 19 charges for second-degree animal cruelty with more counts possible depending on the outcome of the full investigation.
They willingly signed over the horses and poultry to the care of Hooved Animal Rescue, but did not sign over care of the other animals. They will have 14 days to petition to have the dogs returned to the home.