The Jeffco Sheriff’s Office seized 18 horses from a Morrison property May 21.
“The horses have illnesses and physical issues,” said Christine Padilla, an animal control officer with the Sheriff’s Office. “(Most of the horses) were kept in a dirt lot, and there was no grass for them to graze on.”
Padilla also said there is a 75-foot drop on the property that isn’t fenced off.
“The majority of the horses were in poor condition and underweight,” Padilla said.
The 18 horses are between 8 and 24 years old.
The horses were moved to the Harmony Equine Center in Parker, where they will be examined and treated by veterinarians. Padilla said the horses will receive food, vaccinations and whatever else they need.
“It’s very emotional for the owners,” Padilla said. “They feel they’ve taken good care of their animals, but in reality, they can no longer properly care for their horses.”
Since 2001, the property owners had received more than 10 warnings regarding the health of their horses. Padilla said the situation would show improvement after a warning, but that eventually the Sheriff’s Office had to step in.
“A majority of these horses are in profoundly bad condition,” said Jeffco sheriff’s Investigator Amy Perasso.
Perasso said the property where the horses were seized had been advertised as a horse rescue shelter in the past.
The Sheriff’s Office is waiting to press charges until the horses have been examined and received medical care. Sheriff’s spokesman Mark Techmeyer said the owners could face multiple charges, including misdemeanor cruelty to animals.