Three Starving Horses Seized
When Frank Ringelberg saw the three horses, he knew he had to act.
Ringelberg, a Moore County animal control officer, immediately confiscated the animals, whose skeletons were clearly visible and which were barely able to stand, immediately after discovering them Thursday on land off Highway 705 in Westmoore.
Ringelberg had responded to the location to aid Moore County sheriff’s officers, who needed his help returning a stolen horse to its owner.
“I had to take them,” he said of the three other horses. “I had no other choice. They were without food or fresh water. We had to get them out of there right away.”
The horses’ owners, Johnny Baxter McCaskill Jr. and Tony English Jr., have been charged with failure to nourish. The rescued animals are being housed and cared for at an undisclosed location, because Moore County Animal Control lacks a holding facility for equines.
Each horse is 200 to 500 pounds underweight, Ringelberg said, and it will take six to 10 months to return the animals to health.
“They have no other health issues that would cause them to lose weight,” Ringelberg said. “It’s plain and simple a case of starvation.”
To reach their current condition, Ringelberg estimated that the animals had gone at least three months without proper nourishment.
Animal control officers have seized four horses this year. They confiscated 15 last year. In May 2008, animal control officers seized 19 horses from a farm in Cameron. Eighteen were adopted. The other died.
Ringelberg is confident the three horses he seized a week ago will find good homes.
“In the last five years, we’ve taken close to 100 horses,” he said. “And we have been able to find good homes for them.”
Contact senior writer Tom Embrey by e-mail at 693-2484.
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