The Humane Society of Ashland County is working to nurse back to health five horses and two dogs rescued from a makeshift pen in a barn at a private residence, and is seeking donations from the public.
The animals were found in poor condition without feed or fresh air, according to an investigator with the Ashland County Sheriff's Office and other responding agencies.
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The Humane Society posted on Facebook a callout for supplies to help with care for the animals, which are being housed at the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center.
"Our most immediate need is horse shavings or bedding," the post reads. "These can be picked up at Tractor Supply and Centerra. Any physical donations can be dropped off at the Ashland County West Holmes Career Center Vet Science Program who will be assisting with care."
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Sheriff's Sgt. Cindy Benner, Deputy Keith Turner and Claremont Veterinary Clinic Dr. Kristine Lafever assisted at the scene along with Ashland County West Holmes Career Center veterinary science instructor Anne Leidigh.
Around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Humane Society volunteers gathered outside of a residence northeast of Mifflin in Vermillion Township after the Sheriff's Office received reports from a passerby requesting a wellness check.
"We observed five horses in a makeshift pen and we started looking at them and the condition of them was not very good," Benner said.
According to Benner, there wasn't grain available for the horses to eat.
Lafever was called to examine the animals, Benner said, and determined they were underweight and needed to be removed from the residence.
The Sheriff's Office seized the animals when the resident refused to give them up.
The barn the animals were housed in had a strong odor of ammonia, Benner said, and there wasn't any fresh air coming in.
The youngest horse is 11 months old.
The malnourished animals are being fed slowly, Leidigh said.
Humane Society volunteer Tiffany Meyer said deworming, trimming and cleaning hooves is some of the work needed before the horses can be put up for adoption, which is expected to happen in a couple of months.
The dogs will hopefully be up for adoption in the next 30 days, she said.
Leidigh is asking for donations of brushes, hay and fly spray.
A lot of time is put into building trust with the deprived animals, Meyer said.
"We have some kids here that love horses so they'll come and just sit in a stall with the horse," she said.
Ashland Municipal Magistrate Fred Oxley allowed the state to take custody of the animals Thursday morning with the owner's consent, according to court records.
The county prosecutor's office was to review the case to determine if any charges are warranted.
Reach Grant at 419-281-0581, ext. 259 or email@example.com