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218 Animals Rescued from Marion County Property

Miniature horses, cats, sheep among species rescued from deplorable conditions

**UPDATE 6/26/2013: The final head count of animals rescued from the property is 218. That includes 77 miniature horses, 55 cats, 17 dogs, 16 sheep, 14 cattle, 14 horses, 13 turtles, 11 goats and one frog. The owner has surrendered custody of all the animals, and they have been transferred to the following shelters to be evaluated for adoption:

North Mississippi Great Dane Rescue
Hub City Humane Society
Dark Horse Rescue, Byhalia, Miss.
Save our Strays, Mendenhall, Miss.
Lost and Found Horse Rescue, Germanton, Md.
Mississippi Animal Rescue League, Jackson, Miss.

More than 120 animals, many in urgent need of veterinary attention, were rescued from a Columbia, Miss., property after authorities discovered them living in filth and suffering from a variety of untreated medical conditions and a lack of basic care. The Humane Society of the United States was called in by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the rescue and removal of the animals.

Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant on the property and found more than 50 miniature horses, at least 30 cats, about a dozen dogs, 12 sheep and several mules, horses and goats. Some animals were confined to crates and enclosures, and others were roaming about the property. Nearly all the animals were living in feces and filth and did not have access to clean water and food.

Many of the animals are extremely underweight and suffering from respiratory problems, skin, eye and ear conditions. The hooved animals are lacking proper hoof care and many have hooves so badly overgrown that they are curled around, virtually crippling them. In addition, there were several dead animals on the property.

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Lydia Sattler, Mississippi state director for The HSUS, said: “These animals may not have received basic care for quite some time, and the situation was dire. I’m so relieved that they are now getting the attention they so desperately need. The Humane Society of the United States is so grateful to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for taking action in this case and asking us to help rescue these animals.”

Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall said: “We were appalled to find these animals living in such terrible conditions. We could not allow them to suffer any longer, so we are thankful that The Humane Society of the United States was able to assist in rescuing and caring for them all.”

The HSUS's Animal Rescue Team has removed the animals from the property pending the final disposition of this case. At a temporary emergency animal shelter, the animals will be thoroughly examined and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment. The veterinarians assisting on this case are Drs. Brenda Sumrall, Jennifer Springfield, Kirk Frazier and Laurissa Heinz.

See a slideshow of images from this rescue »

Volunteers assisting with rescuing the animals include representatives from Hub City Humane Society, Southern Pines Animal Shelter, Rankin County Animal Control and Mississippi Animal Rescue League. PetSmart Charities is providing the necessary food, supplies and enrichment items for the dogs.

**Photos and video of this rescue will be available by request.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, stwining@humanesociety.org

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