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Washington Horse Abandonment

The HSUS Offers Reward in Pierce County Horse Abandonment

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­abandoning five horses on a logging road in rural Pierce County on Nov. 12.

The Case:

News reports give the following account: Terry Cairns found five emaciated horses deep in the forest outside of Elbe, Wash., last week. Found in the midst of a bitter rainstorm, the horses were cold, injured and horribly malnourished. It appears they were afraid to leave the area where they were dropped off, and could have been stranded for up to two weeks. Of the five found, one was so emaciated that he had to be euthanized on site. Two of the surviving horses are estimated to be at least 15 years old and another is suspected to be pregnant. Abandoning animals in Washington state is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Animal Cruelty:

Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community.  The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented.  Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

"Abandoning a horse is not only irresponsible, but it is also against the law," said Dan Paul, The HSUS' Washington state director. "Struggling horse owners do not need to turn to abandonment to solve their problems. Rescue groups, online adoption programs, lease arrangements and even humane euthanasia are all responsible alternatives to horse abandonment."

The Investigators:

Pierce County Animal Control is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Supervisor Tim Anderson at 253-798-7387 or 253-798-7003.


The HSUS Animal Cruelty Campaign raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. The HSUS offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty. To see our journalists' animal cruelty resource guide, which includes information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, go to humanesociety.org.


Follow The HSUS on Twitter.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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