8 October 2005

For Immediate Release
For more information
Jennifer Williams, President Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society
Email: info@bluebonnetequine.org
Phone: (888) 542 5163

(October 8, 2005; Navasota, Texas)  Almost two weeks after their removal from a neglectful home, four donkeys graze peacefully at their foster home near Navasota.  These donkeys along with one other yearling donkey, seven mules, and seven horses were removed from a Plantersville property on September 28 after Grimes County Deputy Ramirez investigated a complaint of dead animals.  When she arrived, she found four dead equines that were too decomposed to be easily identified.  Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society volunteers later determined these to animals to be a donkey, a mule, and two horses.  Three of the equines were located in pens with no evidence of food or water and the remaining living animals were clearly neglected – several appeared to be ‘walking skeletons’.  Grimes County officials quickly made the decision to remove all animals from the property and called Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society (BEHS) to assist.  During the seizure, an additional horse was located in the woods.  Volunteers with BEHS gathered the animals and moved them to a safe location where they could be assessed by veterinarians and horse experts.  During the seizure, a one-year-old donkey collapsed, too weak to walk to the horse trailers.  BEHS volunteers and sheriff’s deputies helped him to the trailer, and he was treated by a veterinarian.  Although he received fluids and additional care, he was too weak to survive and was euthanized the following day.

On October 6, 2005 Grimes County Sheriff’s deputies, a veterinarian, BEHS volunteers, and the animals’ owner attended a hearing before Justice of the Peace Joe Imhoff.  After hearing evidence including veterinary statements, statements from an equine expert, testimony from the deputy on the case and a volunteer with BEHS as well as testimony from the animals’ owner, Justice of the Peace Imhoff determined that all of the animals had been neglected and awarded them to BEHS.  While reading his decision, Justice of the Peace Imhoff stated that the owner was clearly unable to financially care for the animals, and he felt that BEHS could rehabilitate the animals and place them in adoptive homes where they would have no fear of starvation again.

After the decision was read, the animals’ owner was arrested and charged with 24 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty as well as one felony count.

BEHS officials and volunteers are pleased with the outcome of the hearing.  President Dr. Jennifer Williams said that while she’s been working with equine rescues for over seven years, this is the most horrific case of neglect she’s witnessed.  BEHS Director Joanne Terry coordinated the seizure and expressed relief that the animals can now move into foster homes where they’ll receive the one-on-one care necessary for their rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation of the animals will take several months and cost the organization thousands of dollars.  If you would like to make a contribution to assist with the animals rehabilitation, please visit the BEHS website at www.bluebonnetequine.org, email BEHS at info@bluebonnetequine.org or call (888) 542 5163.  BEHS is also seeking foster homes for horses, donkeys, and mules who are seized due to neglect, and the organization has several animals available for adoption.