Emaciated Horses Rescued in Washington State

September 27, 2012 Updated: September 27, 2012

Emaciated horses described as living in “squalid, neglectful” conditions were rescued earlier this week by animal control officers in Washington state, outside of Tacoma.

Animal control said the 39 horses were living in badly ventilated barns and buildings, and many of the animals were very underweight, suffered from untreated injuries, and were standing in more than a foot of waste, reported The Olympian.

Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson told the paper on Wednesday that the horses appeared to belong to a breeding operation of some kind.

“They have not been handled in a very long time, they literally have ‘night eyes’ so they’re very sun sensitive and are having trouble with depth perception,” she told KING-5 television. The hoof problems were likely caused by “standing in one foot of manure and urine for months at a time.”

Veterinarians believe the impact of the abuse and neglect is not fully visible, as many of the horses have facial wounds, hoof problems, and tumors, according to KOMO News.

The owners of the horses face animal cruelty charges, KING-5 reported.

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