Horses seized: Police say it’s animal cruelty by owners

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OLYMPIA — Two horses and a mule were seized from a rural farm, part a shocking case of animal cruelty in Thurston County.

horse1One horse was in such bad shape veterinarians had to put him down on the spot.

The case is being investigated by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and investigators say it’s not the first time the animal’s owners have been accused of abuse.

“This is Diamond,” said Kathy Bailey, president of the Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County. “We’re calling him the old guy or the old one.”

Diamond is just one of three animals taken away as evidence from a rural farm on Dempsey Lane.

“You can see his neck is really skinny, you can see his shoulder blades here,” said Bailey. “You can see his ribs. His hips should be nice and rounded.”

The animals were seized back in March after a tipster sounded the alarm.

Bailey estimates that Diamond is 250 pounds underweight. She says the animal’s owners are no strangers to police.

“Unfortunately they just continue to get into bad shape,” said Bailey. “For some reason people do not see what we’re seeing. They don’t look at a skinny horse and see a skinny horse.”

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office says the owners faced similar accusations. Five animals were taken in back 2002 — and another horse was euthanized in 2012. This most recent case is especially frustrating for Bailey.

“One of the pictures taken at the scene was a pile of horse manure with a broke jar in it,” said Bailey. “I mean who does that?”

The owners have signed over the animals to police so they won’t be getting them back.

But there are questions about why the couple was allowed to have animals after the prior complaints. Thurston County Prosecutors never couldn’t say why the couple still has animals under their care, but authorities are reviewing possible animal cruelty charges against the couple in this current case.

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