Humane Society removes horses from East Bethel farm

7:57 AM, Aug 30, 2011   |    comments
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EAST BETHEL, Minn. -- Humane Society investigators removed two horses from a farm in East Bethel Monday after allegations of abuse. The animals, they were told, were not being fed.

"We've evaluated skin, feet and general housing environments, filed a report on the ones that we think need to go," said veterinarian Jeff Johnson.

Officials found 64 horses on the farm, and using a body mass score, determined that 10 of those horses were underweight. Two of those were determined to be dangerously underweight and removed from the property.

"These horses are going down to the University of Minnesota where they will be evaluated for a forensic report. I will use that information to present to a court tomorrow to see if we can procure a search warrant to come back and address the other thin horses," said investigator Keith Streff.

It's not the first time this farm, or its owner, have been accused of abuse and the latest allegations had angry horse-lovers lined up outside the property Monday hoping to call attention to the farm.

"I would like to see this farm shut down. I would like to see every horse off this property and going to people who will take care of them," said Ty Irons, who came all the way from Wisconsin when he heard about the alleged abuse.

The farm's owner says the allegations are untrue and that just a month ago the horses were deemed healthy by another vet and the city.

"So, we're talking within the last month all these horses were okay and now all the sudden I got a problem? That's kinda hard to believe wouldn't you say?" said the farm's owner, Lowell Friday.

Humane society officials are hoping to get the warrant on Tuesday which will allow them to remove the eight animals on the farm they feel are underweight.

Even if he's charged, Lowell Friday will likely only be faced with misdemeanors.


(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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