Citizen concerns prompted investigation by Humane Society and the eventual rescue of the animals

Eight of the nine horses rescued were considered underweight. Citizen concerns about the living conditions prompted a Humane Society investigation and eventual rescue.

Nine Molalla-area horses the Oregon Humane Society deemed 'neglected' were rescued Tuesday, Dec. 19. The horses were not receiving minimum care and eight of the horses were underweight, according to OHS. 

The condition of the horses came to the attention of OHS through multiple reports from members of the public, including detailed statements and photographs. The witnesses described horses that were extremely thin, did not have access to food or water and were standing in deep mud. One witness was concerned that some of the horses might not survive the winter.

An OHS Humane Special Agent visited the property but an owner of the horses was not willing to give any details about the animals. OHS then applied for and received a search warrant from a Clackamas County Circuit judge authorizing investigators to remove any neglected animals from the property. 

One of the horses rescued by the Oregon Humane Society at a Molalla farm Tuesday morning.

Working with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, OHS executed the search warrant on the property on S. Sawtell Road in Molalla on the morning of Dec. 19. Sound Equine Options, a Troutdale-based nonprofit, assisted in removing the horses and will be providing ongoing medical care as needed.

"It's a crime in Oregon to deprive animals of the food, water and medical care they need to survive," said OHS President Sharon Harmon. "If you can't provide for the animals in your care, please reach out for assistance. Don't let your animals suffer."

Investigators are currently evaluating the horses and have not issued citations against the owners at this time. The horses are in the custody of Sound Equine Options and are being cared for at an undisclosed location. They are currently not available for adoption or viewing by the public.  

In Oregon, second degree animal neglect is punishable by fines of up to $2,500 and six months in jail.

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