The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 19, 2013

Humane society: Starving horses removed from farm

1 animal was put down

Patrick Buchnowski

JOHNSTOWN — Seven emaciated horses were seized recently from a farm in Somerset County after authorities said they were found badly underweight and without food and water.

An eighth horse had to be put down because of its poor condition.

“The condition of these horses is extremely emaciated,” said Tina Thompson, an officer with the Humane Society of Somerset County.

“One of them was a standardbred that was in such emaciated condition that we couldn’t get him off the ground,” Thompson said. “He tried to lift himself up but he was too weak. He had to be put down.”

The seizure of the animals is part of an ongoing investigation into the abuse of horses across the county. At least one man is expected to face summary charges. Authorities are searching for others who may have been involved in the abuse of the horses.

“We’re still in the investigation phase,” Thompson said.

The seven horses are being kept at an undisclosed location

The volunteer caregivers wish to remain anonymous, Thompson said.

Johnstown-area resident Jim Rummell, who participated in the rescue of the animals, described the condition of the horse that was put down as “awful.”

“I was in the stall and me and Tina tried to get the horse up. I lifted with everything I had,” Rummell said. “What really ripped me up was the horse was neighing and the other horse was neighing, like they were talking to each other.”

Thompson said a healthy horse can have a long life.

“Unfortunately that didn’t happen to this one,” she said.


Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.