Investigators had their eye on the group of skinny horses roaming a property outside Greenville since January. That's the when the Hunt County Constable's Office and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals say they met with the owner of the horses to discuss their living conditions.
Apparently, the meeting went well. They had all "worked out a plan," the agencies say in a news release, to bring the animals' living conditions into compliance with Texas Health and Safety Code.
Well, investigators just found a dead horse on the property, so the plan apparently didn't work out.
Nine other animals on the property were still alive but in pretty bad shape. The SPCA seized them all yesterday morning and sent us some pictures.
The animals were roaming freely behind a fence, but that was about the only good thing going for them. They didn't have access to food. All had chipped or cracked hooves. Some were loosing their hair.
The horses were all classified as somewhere between "extremely emaciated" and just regular emaciated. Three of the horses are lame.
"These horses and the mule were not receiving enough food, and their basic care needs were not being met," Colby Grady, chief investigator for the SPCA of Texas, said in a statement. "The horses had started eating the bark off of trees, which can indicate that they have a mineral deficiency."
SPCA took the animals to a vet in McKinney, where they're being cared for. They face a custody hearing in Greenville next week. The agency wouldn't tell us the name of the animals' owner, and we've left a message with constable's office.