LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV) - Horses and dogs, grossly underweight and under cared for, brought law enforcement out for what was thought to be a routine confiscation, but it turned into something unexpected.
It happened at a Panola County farm located near Long Branch off of County Road 155.
"It appeared that there were several animals on the property that were malnourished, multiple animals that were severely under weight with possible medical conditions," said Humane Society of north Texas investigator Tammy Roberts.
The owner had originally complied with authorities on a judge's order to turn over the animals.
When law enforcement and animal care workers came out to check on the welfare of the 25 horses and 60+ dogs, the gates were locked and some of the animals were missing, a violation of the original order.
"When we got here we expected to see 25 horses there's not but 17 horses here," said Safe Haven Equine Rescue Director Richard Fincher.
Officials got a search and seizure order and an arrest warrant, cutting the locks on the gate.
"Once the animals are removed from the property they will go back to Fort Worth, where they will be examined by veterinarians," Roberts says.
A number of horses were found grossly underweight, with dirty water and little grass on which to graze.
"The rest of the horses have been moved to another county," Fincher says.
A number of the dogs have still not been accounted for.
But the owner has been arrested on charges of animal cruelty.
The missing horses were found at a pasture in rusk county and taken into the care of the Humane Society of north Texas.