TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They were hungry and mistreated, but now, several animals are safe. On Friday, SPCA workers rescued the animals from a pasture off FM 2016 in Northwest Tyler.
After receiving a call about some emaciated animals, Deborah Dobbs of the SPCA came to check things out.
She found miniature ponies and donkeys with severely overgrown hooves, making it difficult for the animals to walk. When inspecting further, Dobbs found a severely emaciated mare.
The SPCA says the rest of the animals were thin but not critically underweight.
"It does appear that these animals are being fed on a semi-regular basis," Dobbs said.
After alerting the owners, the SPCA got a warrant to take the animals.
But when workers came out to take them, something had changed.
"Apparently in the mean time they've came out and done some work on the hooves and removed the mare. We don't know where she is, but we're going to try and check on her welfare," Dobbs said.
And there was another discovery.
"We found at least one carcass hidden away in a barn. And it was not really buried it was just slightly under the dirt.
Dobbs say's its unclear if the remains are related to this case, but feels the discovery is suspicious.
For now, only the animals that needed the most help were taken.
"When they leave this pasture they're going straight to the vet," Dobbs said.
Two miniature horses, a donkey and one lama will be staying with Serenity Horse Haven until a judge decides their fate.
The SPCA will present their findings to a judge on Tuesday. If they are awarded the animals, they will be sent to Serenity Horse Haven to recover and then be put up for adoption.