SAFE has agreed to take four of the horses that were seized by Pierce County Animal Control in late September 2012 from a property in Graham, WA. Three of the horses were transported to SAFE and NWESC today; the fourth is currently still at Frontier Park where PCAC has been housing the horses from this seizure.

Conditions at the Graham property

According to the Pierce County prosecutor’s office, the horses were discovered when a DEA agent came onto the property to serve a search warrant. The agent contacted Pierce County Animal Control who found 39 horses, including ten stallions, living in deplorable conditions in three run down barns and outdoor paddocks. The horses were living in stalls with “excessive accumulations of feces and urine” and shelters containing piles of manure one to two feet high. Some of the horses were underweight, and many of them were suffering from severe and painful medical conditions brought on by their neglect. The majority of the horses appear to have had very little handling, and were difficult to even put halters on. They were also suffering from a lack of hoof care, dental care, and other necessary vet care.

The horses were taken to Frontier Park in Graham, where they were cared for and given medical treatment. The defendant petitioned for the return of his horses, and on November 9, a District Court judge allowed the return of 11 horses, based on evidence that he had sufficiently cleaned and repaired enough of the property to accommodate them. The remaining horses became the property of Pierce County on December 10. Eight horses were humanely euthanized by PCAC, five due to medical conditions and three due to dangerous behavior.

After careful consideration, multiple visits to Frontier Park, and consultation with the Animal Control officers and the veterinarian on the case, SAFE elected to take four of the remaining horses.

Chip, prior to AC seizure

Chip is an 18 year old Arab/Appy stallion. He is a strikingly beautiful horse with unusual coloring — he’s registered as a chestnut, but he’s greyed out in a very attractive fashion. Chip was delivered to NWESC this afternoon where he will be gelded. He’s a fairly personable horse who responds to pressure, picks up his feet when asked, etc. He’s also a pretty lovely mover! We have high hopes for this boy. Click here to see more photos of Chip.

Logan is a 17 year old Arab gelding, who has a large rectal polyp that has caused him a great deal of discomfort and pain for quite some time. Logan is scheduled to undergo surgery at Pilchuck Vet Hospital on Thursday to have this polyp removed. It is the hope of everyone involved that the growth can be successfully removed because Logan is a really sweet horse who deserves to be comfortable. He’s gentle and really appears to want to trust and connect with someone, but right now he’s still pretty fearful.

Skye is a 7 year old half Arab, half draft mare who is built like a tank. She’s already at SAFE Harbor, and she’s having a little trouble overcoming her fear and confusion at being in a new place and adjusting to having a stall with access to a paddock. Fortunately she is being cared for by kind and patient people who are letting her take the “baby steps” she needs. With lots and lots of consistent handling, we think she will come around.

Cameo is a 4 year old Arab mare. Like the others, she is shy and nervous, but she appears to want to trust. She’s had a corneal scratch which required daily eye ointment so her opinion of humans may be a little strained at the moment, but she’s another horse that we think will come around with time.

Pierce County is attempting to find adoptive homes for the remaining horses in their care. Unfortunately SAFE is now completely full and unable to take any more. Here is a link to the horses on the Pierce County website.