BAYTOWN, Texas - An anonymous tip led to the rescue of approximately 80 miniature horses, two donkeys and a cow Wednesday morning from property in the Baytown area.
Houston SPCA cruelty investigators and horse specialists said some of the animals had no fresh drinking water and are suffering from a long list of medical problems.
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"Each individual animal has special needs. We'll know more once bloodwork is taken. But at this point, just visually, you can see that there were overgrown hooves, broken hips, total blindness, partial blindness, lameness, we don't know to what degree the level of pain the animals are in," SPCA Spokesperson Julie Kuenstle said.
Kuenstle said it appeared the property owner used the horses for showing and that the operation got out of hand on a very large piece of property.
A team of nine veterinarians spent the day checking each animal to see what other issues the horses could face.
A couple, she said, could be pregnant.
"Our objective is to come in and protect those who don't have voice. In this case, it was the miniature horses and the ponies and maybe even some additional livestock," Kuenstle said.
She said recovery time will depend each horse and the individual conditions. She said each animal will get the care they need before being moved to the SPCA’s larger property in Hempstead.
A hearing is expected next week to determine if custody of the animals will be awarded to the SPCA.
Harris County Precinct One Constable’s Office served the warrant Wednesday.
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