Sheriff Investigating Case Of Neglected Horses

HUMBOLDT, S.D. – The Kingsbury County Sheriff, Steven Strande, says his department just doesn’t see a lot of animal cruelty cases. Well, this investigation is certainly unusual. It concerns about 30 malnourished horses.

When you take a closer look, you can see the ribs on these horses, shivering through the winter.

“Their winter coat kind of hides the condition of the horses, but when you get up close to them,  you can see that they hadn’t been getting enough food,” said Strande.

It’s hard to believe that many of the horses were in even worse shape when the sheriff’s department searched the private property the horses lived on in Lake Preston. The department was following up on numerous complaints of animal neglect. Investigators also found the bodies of three dead horses.

A state animal board veterinarian recommended that the deputies seize the surviving horses. However, the horses’ owner isn’t facing charges at this time.

“I’ve seen a lot of nasty stuff in my career,” said Strande. “He just was struggling to try to get feed for them I think and it just got away from him.”

About 13 of the horses were taken here to Gentle Spirit Horses Rescue and Sanctuary near Humboldt. A handful of the horses are even pregnant.

“There’s been a good response, too,” said Strande.

Thanks to volunteers, the horses are slowly getting back to health.

If you want to help the surviving horses, Gentle Spirit is accepting donations. They’re also looking for people to foster the horses.

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