MENOMINEE - Two Clydesdale horses removed from a scrap yard over a year ago, pursuant to a search warrant authorized by the Menominee County District Court, are still at Pipers Rescue Ranch recovering from their wounds, Menominee County Sheriff Kenny Marks announced.
Private donations to Pipers Rescue cover the cost of their care.
They are not yet ready for adoption due to the extent of their injuries.
The horse that was shot is shown recovering at Pipers Rescue Ranch more than a year after it was rescued. Menominee County Sheriff’s Department Photo.
One horse may need additional follow-on surgery to remove bone chips from his withers.
"I want to thank Equine Veterinary Services, Carrie Cramer and her staff at Pipers Rescue Ranch for their efforts in saving this young team of Clydesdales," Sheriff Marks said.
The case began on July 1, 2011, when an animal abuse/neglect complaint of horses in a scrap yard in Harris Township near Wilson with open wounds covered with flies and maggots, ozzing puss, and smell of rotten flesh, led the Menominee County Sheriffs Office and a veterinarian, an to execute a search warrant; which led to the District Court ordering seizure of two Clydesdale horses requiring emergency veterinary care.
The initial appearance of the horses was emaciation with dehydration.
Each horse had infected wounds that had not been attended to.
"The odor from the wounds could be smelled from a distance. one horse had two untreated gunshot wounds that had occurred several weeks prior and was not reported to police," Marks said.
That horse also had multiple scrapes and minor puncture wounds on his body, apparently from the debris lying about in the scrap yard.
The second horse had a swollen rear leg from the hoof to the groin area.
The wound appeared to be a contusion that hemorrhaged with several deep puncture wounds.
"The tissue was weeping puss, covered with flies and maggots," he said.
Both horses' wounds were severe, had been neglected, and were potentially life threatening.
Further investigation determined the absence of hoof treatment, vaccinations and veterinary care.
The horses were transported from the scrap yard in Harris Township to Pipers Rescue Ranch in Menominee County's Mellen Township for evaluation and definitive care by a veterinarian and farrier.
Conditions in the scrap yard included acres of ground with numerous metal objects, wire, cable, bolts, broken glass, rebar, old boards with nails jutting out, and metal objects protruding from the ground.
This landscape is hazardous for any animal and especially for horses, which are most susceptible to tetanus and other infections associated with lacerations, abrasions and puncture wounds.
This case was settled in the 95A District Court for the County of Menominee on Oct. 31, 2011. The horse owner paid $3,000 representing medical care and treatment for the two Clydesdale horses and $150 for a court appointed attorney fee.
The horse owner released all ownership interest of the two Clydesdale horses.
"The horses are now in possession of Pipers Rescue Ranch and they have become the "poster animals" for the Pipers Outreach Program on animal abuse and neglect," Sheriff Marks said.
"This is one of the most severe cases of animal neglect that the Menominee County Sheriff s Office has had to investigate," he said.
"I highly recommend that if you can't care for your animals, then ask for help before the situation reaches the abuse and/or neglect level, and law enforcement is called by complainants to intervene," he said.
Contact organizations like Pipers Rescue and County Animal Control for assistance and referral.