About 25 emaciated horses were rescued from a West Plains ranch Saturday morning.
The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service executed a search warrant at about 8:15 a.m. at 6805 W. Deno Road, north of Airway Heights, SCRAPS Director Nancy Hill said. At least two dead horses were found, as well as several emaciated mares with foals, she said.
SCRAPS animal protection officers found little food on the property, Hill said.
“Emaciated horses should be free feeding,” she said.
Horse health is rated on a scale of one to nine, one being emaciated and nine being obese, Hill said. SCRAPS took the horses that rated at one or two.
“Horses that rate a one or a two, particularly a one, are completely emaciated with little to no body fat,” Hill said.
Several healthy horses were left at the property, Hill said. The owners had a total of about 30 horses, she said.
The property owners could not be reached for comment Saturday. They could face animal cruelty charges.
The horses were taken to the Spokane County Fairgrounds, where volunteers with the Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team are caring for them. Several horses stood in pens, their ribs and hip bones sticking out, munching food and water.