In April, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office seized 34 horses from a property on Berlin Road outside of Lebanon, charging their owners with second-degree animal neglect. Four months later, the animals are getting a second chance and are asking for an extra boost from the community.
Sound Equine Options in Gresham initially took the animals in at the time of their seizure with the help of a $10,000 grant from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The money covered the costs of moving the horses but according to Sound Equine Options Executive Director Kim Mosiman, the horses' care ballooned to over $40,000 after veterinary care and ongoing food costs.
“Now that we legally own the horses we can get some nonemergency surgeries done,” Mosiman said. “That includes 11 stallions to castrate, two umbilical hernia repairs and one check ligament surgery.”
There are also more mouths to feed than when the horses initially arrived. Linn County Sheriff’s Office seized 34 horses. Since then, five new foals have been born, bringing the total of horses to care for to 39. After humanely euthanizing animals, Sound Equine Options said 36 horses remain.
A criminal case is still ongoing but Mosiman said that, speaking broadly, it’s the largest group of horses with hoof issues she has seen.
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Deputy Corey Putney originally responded to the property on Berlin Road in January where, according to a statement from the Sheriff's Office, he observed animals showing signs of unhealthy weight loss. In April, Putney responded to the property again after a report of a horse carcass and found the remaining horses’ health had declined. At the time, the Sheriff's Office said the horses were standing in septic mud and water full of urine and feces and did not have access to clean drinking water or an adequate food source.
“It will take up to a year for many of these horses’ feet to fully recover,” Mosiman said.
While some of the horses have been adopted, the organization has started a social media campaign to raise funds to cover the costs of care. The immediate need, Mosiman said is $7,500 for vaccine boosters and other veterinary care.
“The remaining ponies have been able to blossom with basic care and veterinary assistance,” Mosiman said. “They are becoming happy, healthy and friendly little things.”
For more information on the horses or to donate, visit soundequineoptions.org.