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November 30, 2012

Animal Humane Society (AHS) this week removed 55 horses, ponies and donkeys from a property in southeastern Minnesota. Following a complaint, AHS found animals suffering from untreated wounds, severe emaciation and other health issues. Numerous carcasses in various states of decomposition were also found on the property, located in Fillmore County.

The work involved multiple agencies from the area, according to Keith Streff, AHS Senior Humane Agent. “In addition to the severity of the case, this was one of the largest and more complex operations involving horses I’ve seen, requiring a major effort to remove and relocate the animals,” Streff said.

A dozen horses considered to be in the most acute condition were transported from the property to the University of Minnesota Large Animal Hospital in St. Paul for forensic examination. The results of the exams will be reviewed by the county prosecutor to determine what, if any, criminal charges will be issued. As of Friday morning, four of the animals had been euthanized due to severe health complications. The health condition of the remaining horses is still being determined.

The horses not taken to the animal hospital were transported to the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Preston. AHS has recruited the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation to coordinate efforts with additional horse rescue organizations to treat, care for and place the animals. The objective is to stabilize and improve the health of the animals so they can be safely transported to new owners.