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Three emaciated horses rescued from Cleveland property

April 26, 2018 GMT

Authorities say a horse owner in Cleveland voluntarily surrendered three horses to authorities Wednesday after reportedly being challenged with legal action due to the condition of the horses.

According to San Jacinto County Pct. 3 Deputy Constable Pete Sparta, an anonymous tip more than a week ago pointed authorities to a property on Hicks Loops. The tipster said that four horses were emaciated and in need of veterinary care.

When Sparta arrived at the property, three of the horses were tied up in the woods behind the residence. The fourth horse had already been sold to a third party who was trying to save it, Sparta said.

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“After finally seeing the condition of the three horses, I told the owner to get them to a vet and gave her five days to have them seen,” Sparta said.

On Wednesday, after the terms of the agreement reportedly were not met, Sparta returned to the property and informed the owner that she could voluntarily surrender them or face a legal seizure.

“Either way, I was not leaving the property without the horses,” said Sparta, who was concerned the horses might not survive any delays in their rescue.

The animals, including the fourth horse that was sold, are now in the care of horse rehabilitator Stacy Pipkin, founder of S & S Ranch Rescue, a self-funded rescue near Cleveland.

Pipkin, who has seen a lot of abused animals over the years, said the condition of the horses is “unconscionable” but believes there is hope for them. They will eventually be up for adoption.

“The stallion will be gelded as soon as approved by our veterinarian, which is crucial in finding a loving home. Both the mare and the big gelding seem sweet and calm; once back to health, they will all be placed with stringently-screened homes and will have contracts that protect them for life,” Pipkin said.

Sparta said it was not the first time that authorities have dealt with this particular horse owner but they are hoping it was the last time.

“Thankfully we didn’t have to seize the horses or go through criminal charges. She’s been advised if she takes on more horses, we are going to keep a close watch on them,” he said.