SHELTON, Wash. — An animal cruelty investigation is underway after three dozen animals were seized from a Mason County home.
Authorities said the owner has been charged with animal abuse in the past.
“Look at that face. Does she deserve that? No. It’s just unfortunate,” said Samdra Jones, Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County vice president.
Years of suspected abuse and neglect left a sweet horse in bad shape. Her hooves are overgrown, herteeth are filled with tartar and the vet believes she’s in pain.
“She’s just been dealt a rotten hand,” said Jones.
The mare is one of 36 animals seized from a Shelton home. On Thursday, 27 cats, seven chickens and two horses were saved.
The owner’s yard was so overgrown that for years, no one knew the animals were back there.
“That’s so sad. I can’t believe that was right down my road. I would’ve fed them. I would’ve helped them. That’s so terrible,” said Kaitlyn Davis, a neighbor.
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A third horse was so sick, it had to be put down.
“Oh my goodness, that’s so sad. It looks starving,” Davis said.
Information about the owner isn’t being released yet.
Mason County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling said the man has been charged with animal neglect and abuse in the past.
“We don’t have the resources to go around and say, 'OK, in 1990, this person was charged, so I have to make sure he doesn’t have any animals.' There’s just no way we can follow up on that,” said Spurling.
Spurling said the county’s animal control position was cut in 2017 after the department lost more than $1 million in funding.
When KIRO 7 stopped by the suspect’s home Friday, the owner was outside but didn’t want to talk.
Deputies believe he should be charged with animal abuse and neglect again.
Pasado’s Safe Haven and Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County will care for the animals.
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