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Starving horses taken from Bovina Cut-Off

[5/7/04]Warren County has been granted custody of four starving horses, including one newborn, that a court ruled had been neglected.

The horses were being kept at 3387 Bovina Cut-Off Road. They were taken from there Wednesday after an order was signed by Warren County Justice Court Judge Joe Crevitt.

Warren County has been named as temporary custodian of the horses pending a hearing, which may be as early as Monday, said Warren County Prosecutor Richard Johnson, who presented the case to Crevitt Wednesday.

“We got the information about the horses out there through the Warren County Humane Society,” Johnson said. “The case was brought to me with pictures.”

The pictures showed at least two female mature horses, one that had just given birth, and one nearly ready to foal, Johnson added.

“The pictures clearly indicated that they were being neglected,” Johnson said. The petition presented to Crevitt alleged the horses were being neglected, abandoned or cruelly treated, he said.

Three dead horses were also found on the property, Sheriff Martin Pace said. Some of the dead horses were found in a pond, Lynn said.

The case remains under investigation by the sheriff’s department and the Humane Society, Pace added.

“We’ve had several complaints from citizens about malnourished horses in the area,” Pace said.

The suspected owner of the horses does not live near where the horses were being kept, said Humane Society president Georgia Lynn, who with Warren County deputy sheriffs helped capture the horses.

“They were on a man’s pasture who had given the individual permission to put them there,” Lynn said. “He wasn’t going to take care of them.” The horses’ owner was to be responsible for their care, she said.

The mares are of the Belgian breed, one of four or five breeds classified as draft horses, the same as Clydesdales, Lynn said. “They’re huge, massive horses.”

The horses’ owner has called Johnson and appears to want to contest the county’s taking custody of the horses, Johnson said.

Lynn said the Humane Society did not have a place of its own to keep horses and they were being kept on the property of someone who had volunteered to provide a place for them.