Owners of neglected horses react to abuse - KOTA Territory News

Owners of neglected horses react to abuse

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The Pennington County Sheriff's Office and the South Dakota Animal Industry Board continue to try and locate the owners of the abused horses, boarded in Pennington County.

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom says the investigation continues into the criminal allegations of animal neglect of 69 horses that were in the care of Donald and Terry Harwood.

The Harwood's own nearly 30 of the animals and were boarding the other half on Radar Hill Road in Pennington County.

Laurie Lange boarded her horses with the Harwood's and picked them up on Friday.

She says every time she visited her horses, they were without hay. Lange says when she asked the Harwood's about the lack of hay, they always told her they were just going to get it, or it was being delivered that day.

"It shouldn't have happened. And I should have seen it coming, but I didn't see it coming because I trusted them and that's the worst part because I thought they were my friends," said Lange.

Lange says she paid $125 per horse, per month to board them with the Harwoods. She adds with the number of horses they were boarding at that price that was more than enough for the Harwood's to buy hay; even with the expensive hay prices.

A neighbor says the Harwood's not only neglected horses, but when they moved out they left behind chickens and at least one cat to fend for themselves. The neighbor has since taken over caring for the strays.

Sheriff Thom says the horses were impounded on January 8th. And now the Sheriff's office, along with volunteers and neighbors are caring for the animals.

"We've had to acquire hay, and we've bought some tank heaters for the tanks and some hoses and the county probably has about 3-4 thousand dollars tied up in cost so far, that doesn't include our staff time," said Sheriff Thom.

The Sheriff says charges should come from the State's Attorney's office late next week. And he hopes the county will be reimbursed, likely in the form of restitution from the Harwoods.

Captain Corey Brubakken says his office has received numerous calls from the public, willing to take in any animals left behind. But right now their focus is on locating the owners of the horses. After all attempts are made to locate the owners, Brubakken says, his office will then begin the process of finding permanent homes for the Harwood's horses.

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