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Animal-neglect investigation launched

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By The Staff

Four horses seized from Owen Lane; charges possible

ORIOLE - A criminal investigation into possible animal neglect and cruelty is under way after four allegedly malnourished horses were found and later removed Wednesday from property along Owen Lane near Oriole.

A fifth horse had already died, a county sheriff's deputy said, and was buried.

Authorities received an anonymous call Dec. 5 regarding the dead horse and suspected neglect of other horses at 15416 Owen Lane. Members of the Perry County Hoof Society, a group working with the Perry County Humane Society that cares for allegedly abused or neglected large animals, accompanied County Deputy Kenny Blinzinger to the scene and loaded the horses on a trailer.

The name of the property owner, who has not been charged with any crime, was not identified in court documents.

The four horses were examined and taken to locations where they will be fed and cared for, said Jim Carter, president of the Perry County Humane Society. A young horse, estimated to be less than a year old, appeared to be severely malnourished.

The other larger and older animals were in better condition. Since the one animal was found dead, the court authorized the seizure of all the animals. However, the owner could ask the court to order their return.

As The News has reported in recent months, the county humane society fears pastureland hurt by a summer drought and a shortage of hay has left some horses and other livestock vulnerable this winter.

Carter said members of the large-animal support group want owners facing difficulties to know help is available.

"We're trying to get as much information out there as we can. There is help out there," he said.

For more information on efforts of the Perry County Humane Society, call Carter at 836-4138. Reports of suspected abuse should be given to local police.