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135 Animals Seized in Pine Co. Abuse Investigation

Posted at: 09/18/2013 11:02 AM
Updated at: 09/18/2013 6:20 PM
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com


Photo: Pine County Sheriff's Office

Pine County authorities say they've seized more than 100 animals from a farm near Pine City following a month-long investigation into allegations of animal abuse.

The Pine County Sheriff said animals were moved to shelters after they were found living in at a rural farm last week.

Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said officers found 84 chickens, 18, ducks, 21 dogs and 12 horses living in filth at a farm in rural Pine County on Sept. 12.

Blackwell said the animals showed signs of the alleged animal abuse.

“The horses were...you could see the bones, the hips, the ribs. The dogs were very aggressive, without food and without water,” Blackwell said.

He said a sweep of the farm turned up 21 dogs of various breeds.

“It was a big property. There was a lot of areas where the animals were kept. Some were in above ground cages, some were in make-shift cages, some were in below-ground pits with covers over them. It was terrible,” Blackwell said.

The farm is about 8 miles from Pine City on Holly Road, but police have not released the owner's name because charges had not been filed as of Wednesday afternoon.

Blackwell said the owner does have until next week to file a judicial challenge, but would have to post a $15,000 bond to get the animals back.

The animals were moved and being cared for by a veterinary service and animal shelter in Pine County. The Pine County Attorney's Office will review the investigation for possible charges.

The cost to care for the 135 animals totaled over $14,000 by Wednesday according to the Pine County Sheriff's Office, and the department is accepting donations to help pay for the care.

As long as the owner does not challenge the seizure the animals they can be adopted starting on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

To adopt a horse the North Ridge Veterinary Service requires a full name, address, phone number, and a veterinarian's reference letter along with the name of your current Ferrier.

To adopt a dog the Guardian Angel Shelter requires adoptees to agree to have the animal spayed or neutered.