Johnson County
Sheriff's Office
Clarksville, Arkansas
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Malnourished/Neglected Horses Seized From Farm

13 horses, 2 ponies and a colt, all in very bad condition were seized by Johnson County Sheriff Deputies on Friday, March 13.  All of the animals were on a farm located on County Road 2243, west of Clarksville.  The owner of the horses lives in Fort Smith.  The Sheriff's Office first received a report of the neglect in January.  Deputies made contact with the owner at that time and he assured officers that he was properly caring for the horses by placing hay and mineral blocks out for them.  A subsequent report by a concerned citizen was made on the condition of the horses on Thursday, March 12.  At that time, an inspection of the property turned up no hay and 3 partial mineral blocks.  There were 2 dead horses and a dead colt on the property as well as several more sets of bones.  After consulting with the deputy prosecutor's office, a decision was made at that time to seize the animals to prevent any more of them from dying.  Several rescue organizations were contacted about assisting with the recue. "Give Me A Chance" equine rescue from central Arkansas was contacted and agreed to pick up the horses. Representatives arrived in Johnson County on Friday with 2 trailers and had to return early Saturday morning with another trailer to get the remaining horses.  The organization "rated" the horses prior to the horses being loaded on to the trailers and the Sheriff's Office will get copies of all paperwork related to the case.  Charges may be filed against the owner of the horses in district court at a later date.  "I want to emphasize to the farmers and ranchers of Johnson County that we understand during the winter months, livestock lose body mass and can look poor.  However, this incident is clearly one of neglect which had to be dealt with immediately.  On the entire acreage of this farm, there was absolutely nothing to eat.  The horses had been eating limbs and bark from trees to survive."