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ASPCA to help care for horses seized from West Plains ranch

The disaster response director for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will arrive in Spokane today to help care for 63 horses seized from a West Plains ranch Friday.

The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service seized the horses from a ranch at the 6800 block of East Deno Road, the same ranch where they seized 26 horses in July.

Property owner Janice Long, also known as Janice Hickerson, faces 21 charges of first-degree animal cruelty from the July seizure. There is a warrant for her arrest on the latest incident.

Members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team arrived early this week and will stay in Spokane for a month to care for the horses until they can be fostered and adopted, SCRAPS director Nancy Hill said. The organization’s senior director of disaster response, Dick Green, will arrive today.

Hill said the seizures have been a major blow to the organization’s budget. The July seizure cost SCRAPS $27,000 in food and veterinary bills; $23,000 came from the ASPCA and other charities.

The ASPCA gave SCRAPS a $5,000 emergency grant early this week, but it’s already been spent on 20 tons of hay, Hill said.

“The good news is there are grants for large-scale seizures,” Hill said. “They realize that these are a real burden and that’s some of what they can provide for.”

Though the bills haven’t arrived for this latest seizure, Hill said she hopes she’s sitting down when they start rolling in.

Most of the horses will have to be dewormed, and several remain in critical condition in the care of an Otis Orchards veterinarian. Hill doesn’t think any will need to be euthanized. “They are victims and they are fighters,” Hill said. “It’s a tough road.”

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