SABINE PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The official body count of dead horses found in Sabine Parish has now grown 5-fold as of this weekend, and animal rescue crews continue to remove starved horses from an Ark-La-Tex ranch. That's where at least 25 horses have been found dead, in what some describe as a bone yard.
There were reportedly 53 mares on the ranch in 2010, and less than half can be found now. Of the 20 or so yearlings, only six can be found now. The Louisiana Horse Rescue Association and the Sabine Humane Society are working with volunteers and veterinarians to assess the condition of the horses that remain, many of which are clinging to life.
The horses that are healthy enough to move will be taken to the New Orleans area.
The Sabine Humane Society's abuse investigator says his agency, since November, has tried working with the owner to get the horses' food, but continued financial troubles finally led to a judge ordering removal of all the horses from the property. It's only then that the full scope of the neglect was discovered.
Sabine Parish District Attorney Don Burkett reportedly went to the site Saturday to check on the progress of the investigation and to see the carnage for himself first-hand. We're told that every horse affected, either deceased or starving, will carry a separate count of animal cruelty against property owner Charles Ford.