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Seized horses finding permanent homes

The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service is moving forward in finding permanent homes for 63 horses seized in West Spokane County on Nov. 15.

The horses’ owner, Janice Hickerson, had until Dec. 10 to file a petition to have them returned to her and did not do so, a news release from SCRAPS said. That enabled SCRAPS and the ASPCA to being finding permanent homes.

In conjunction with an animal cruelty investigation, SCRAPS personnel found the horses emaciated and malnourished on the property in November. Eleven of the horses were taken in for emergency treatment; the rest were moved to temporary housing at the county fairgrounds.

Some 45 horses have been placed in foster homes and one orphaned foal died. SCRAPS and the ASPCA are working to find homes for the remaining 17 horses.

SCRAPS requested assistance from the ASPCA Equine Rescue team after the size of the rescue operation became clear. It is the largest equine rescue in the history of SCRAPS, the release said.

Felony first degree charges for animal cruelty have been filed for Janice L. Long, also known as Jan L. Hickerson, Janice Scull and Jesse Clements, age 48; her husband Jeff P. Hickerson, 65; and Randy J. Clements, 54, the farm hand caring for the animals at the time of the seizure, the release said.

Another summons was issued in a similar case in July when Hickerson was charged with 21 counts of animal cruelty and five counts of transporting or confining animals in an unsafe manner.

Authorities have issued a warrant for Hickerson’s arrest.