Horses rescued as investigation continues to unfold
Help is on the way for nearly 100 houses on a farm in Hebron that on Friday authorities found over 25 dead horses.
It's a horrific number, but what's even more deplorable are the conditions these horses were living in.
"They're living in squalor they are living in some of the most unsanitary, unhealthy conditions I've ever witnessed as a human being," exclaims Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.
Sheriff Lewis tells 47 ABC that the conditions are nearly impossible to describe let alone comprehend.
"A lot of those horses are healthy looking, but are living in squalor in horrific conditions standing in feces and urine."
That's why the horses still on the farm are being rescued by dozens of rescue shelters from all over the east coast.
But 47 ABC has learned that this is not the first time authorities have responded to the Hebron property.
Lewis saying, "We had been out there in 1995, before I was sheriff here in the county, where we removed over 200 cats from cages inside of out sheds and out buildings on the property, over 200 cats."
But that's not all, authorities including The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the sheriff's office have been out to the property in recent years.
A veterinarian from Annapolis has even surveyed the land.
"At that time they said there was insufficient evidence to support animal neglect charges," Sheriff Lewis adds, "The many complaints we got were livestock on the roadway and we did issue citations."
But for these horses, the good news is that they are headed to greener pastures to be cared and loved for.
On Sunday, Days End Rescue took in 12 horses and on Monday over a dozen others came with horse trailers to rescue more.
Changing Fates Equine Rescue of Delaware taking in two pregnant mares. They tell us it could be a long road to recovery as they learn more about their conditions.
Brenda Jordan, the volunteer coordinator for Changing Fates says, "We will just evaluate and do what we can to help these horses trust again that's a lot of it, they lose their trust for humans."
Depending on the horses' condition, it could take months until thesy're are healthy again. It's a long process, but the good news is these horses are heading to places that will care for them.
When the time comes, some could even be adopted.
If interested in adopting a horse, there is quite an arduous process you have to go through.
Changing Fates Equine Rescue says there's an application you have to fill out first. After that, it's all about making sure you're a good fit for the horse. A house visit is also a must to see if the conditions are right to care for a horse.
Jordan adding, "We will also in the meantime check out your farm or boarding facility, wherever you intend to keep that horse, to make sure you taking it is has adequate fencing, adequate food, water, and shelter."
In the meantime, Sheriff Lewis says they are still working to build a case, but it could be a couple months until charges are actually filed.