Many Patch readers have been emailing Pierce County’s editors, asking how they can help the 39 horses seized from a Graham residence yesterday.
Pierce County has been overwhelmed with willing volunteers and has already received an unsolicited donation of almost two tons of hay.
What the county really needs are financial donations to support the horses, said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson.
“We are in the evidentiary period right now and cannot have volunteers around the horses, they are still being assessed medically,” said Anderson. “But we are making a plea for cash donations to offset the cost of caring for the animals while they are in evidence.”
Right now, Anderson said the owner of the horses, who has not been identified, is not interested in surrendering his animals to the county. But if the owner is found guilty of animal cruelty charges, Pierce County will take ownership and the horses will need to be adopted out.
Today, they are being assessed by a vet and treated for non-life threatening injuries, ranging from parasites to foot care.
Anderson said all of the horses are full-grown and there are no foals in the group. They are currently in an undisclosed location while the investigation continues.
“It’s the Hotel Hilton, compared to what they have been living in,” said Anderson.
She advised citizens not to make judgments on the condition of the horses from what they’ve seen on the news.
“When people see photos of the horses and see them on TV, they look fairly healthy. If you haven’t seen where they’ve come from, you’d think a seizure was unnecessary,” said Anderson. “They may not have open wounds or look like skin and bones, but even the vet on site yesterday even said their conditions were ‘horrific.’ This is really about the conditions they were living in.”
The Animal Control team that took the horses into custody yesterday found them in the dark with no ventilation, standing in their own urine and feces.
“It’s taken some masterful horse handling and I’m glad we have experienced handlers on our team,” said Anderson. “These are skittish horses that have not been handled in a long time.”
For now, the living evidence—these 39 horses—are in a better place surrounded by caring staff and veterinarians.
WANT TO DONATE?
Donations can be made to: Pierce County Auditor's Office, 2401 South 35th Street, Room 200, Tacoma, WA 98409. Donors will receive an acknowledgement letter with the county's tax deductible information.
The county also could use muck rakes for cleaning stalls. If members of the public are willing to donate (not loan) these items, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.