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Follow-up Friday: 150 animals rescued from ‘heartbreaking’ conditions find new homes

Editor’s note: Q13 News is efforting weekly follow ups to stories our viewers were interested in. These stories will fall under the “Follow-up Friday” headline. If you think there’s a story Q13 News needs to follow up on, please email tips@q13fox.com

OLYMPIA — It’s nice when upsetting stories turn hopeful.

In March, Q13 News brought you the story one of the worst cases of animal abuses animal rescuers had ever seen. Twenty-three miniature horses, 10 goats, eight dogs, cats, rabbits and pet birds were rescued from deplorable conditions at a farm in Tenino.

The miniature horses were living in muck and mud, some knee-deep with no shelter.

But Friday – nearly two months after the rescue – officer Erika Johnson of Joint Animal Services of Thurston County relayed some good news.

Nearly all the animals had been adopted out or fostered.

“All of the cats were adopted out,” Johnson said. “All of the dogs too, except we’re keeping two here to get healthy.”

Kathy Bailey, the president of the Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County said all the miniature horses were in a foster home. Their hooves have been clipped, nerve damage has been repaired and they are now open to adoption. The turnaround has been remarkable, she said.

“They’ve come along a lot quicker than we’ve expected the to,” Bailey said.

Johnson said she’s recommended 18 counts of second degree animal cruelty for the owners of the farm. She said she believes more charges will be forthcoming.

The alleged animal cruelty suspects will not be able to get their animals back, Johnson said, since they didn’t file a petition to the county within two weeks of the animal seizure. That means the animals should be in healthy homes for the foreseeable future, Johnson said.

Q13 News is not naming the owners of the farm as they have not been charged at this time.

Only a few birds and the two dogs remain to be adopted from the non-hooved animals. All in all, they are in much better conditions than they were less than two months ago.

"It was definitely the right thing to do to remove them," Johnson said.

Donations for the hooved animals can be sent to Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County at PO Box 711, East Olympia, Wa 98540 or made through PayPal or at their website at https://www.har-otc.org/.