The Fillmore County Sheriff's Department says a large number of animals were removed from a farm property on Thursday following a complaint and an investigation by theAnimal Humane Society.
Authorities said 55 horses, ponies, and donkeys were taken from the unidentified farm after they were found suffering from untreated wounds, severe emaciation, and other health issues. Numerous carcasses in various states of decomposition were also found on the property.
A dozen horses considered to be in the most acute condition were transported from the farm property to the University of Minnesota Large Animal Hospital in St. Paul for forensic examination. The results of the exams will be reviewed by the county prosecutor to determine what, if any, criminal charges will be issued. As of Friday four of the animals had been euthanized due to severe health complications. One has been deemed well enough for placement. The health condition of the remaining horses is still being determined.
The Animal Humane Society has recruited the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation to coordinate efforts with additional horse rescue organizations to treat, care for and place the animals. The objective is to stabilize and improve the health of the animals so they can be safely transported to new owners.
The case is still an active investigation, more information may be available at a later date.