Animals removed from farm

Neglected horses being treated by Humane Society
Alex Green
Jan 23, 2014


Ottawa County officials are poised to file charges against the owner of two ailing horses rescued Tuesday evening from a property west of Oak Harbor.

Deputies joined the county’s humane society employees at about 5 p.m. in responding to a complaint about malnourished horses at a Julia Drive property in Rocky Ridge, which is just west of Oak Harbor.

They arrived to find two horses, a Palomino and an American Paint, in various states of neglect.

“One is in poor condition, the other is in fair condition,” Ottawa County Humane Society Officer Denny Hammond said.

The older horse, about 20 years old, is in worse shape than the other horse, which is about 5 years old.    Hammond said humane society workers have been sent to the property before. This time, they were tipped off by a source.

“It’s been an ongoing thing,” Hammond said.

Officials loaded the horses into a trailer late Tuesday and transported them to a farm on West Fremont Road. The older horse appeared especially malnourished, as the contours of its rib bones, hip bones and spine were easily seen under its taut skin.

Hammond said a veterinarian is treating the animals, both of which are expected to live.

The horses are being fed hay, with humane society officials monitoring them periodically.

“They’re making sure the horses are eating and standing,” Hammond said. “They’re different from dogs and cats. You have to keep (a horse’s) blood flowing”

Hammond said he forwarded the case to Ottawa County prosecutor Mark Mulligan to review.

The woman who owns the horses will likely be charged with animal neglect.

“There is no question (it’s a chargeable offense)” Hammond said. This certainly isn’t Ottawa County’s first run-in with abused or neglected horses. Four years ago, Oak Harbor resident Robin Vess dominated headlines when she was charged with 42 counts of animal cruelty. Vess, now 58, had deprived her Arabian horses of food and water. Some of the horses died of starvation and dehydration. Vess served less than two months in jail and was placed on probation for five years.



You don't feed a horse straw. They eat hay, sleep in straw.

BULLISDEEP's picture

Yes, I hope they meant hay! Where is the name and address of the rat that neglected these horses?!


People NAUSEATE me! Constantly harming GOD'S creatures!!! Hang 'em!


There are many, many people that should not be allowed to have animals, and yet they still do. If this were 2 starving cats though, humane society wouldn't have done anything.


I agree Unassumer, the poor cats at the Ottawa County Humane Society are in horrible health and the majority of the them are very thin and sick, these cats will never get adopted because of their poor health, these animals are clearly neglected. The place is disgusting and there is puke and poop on the walls and the floor. I understand it is hard to keep cats healthy due to the amount they have but I have been to other humane societies and they are not like that. We have adopted three cats from there and one had to be put down due to Feline Leukemia and other two have ongoing health problems. It is shameful that the place is run like that!!

ac1's picture

Just for everyone's information it was HAY not Straw, I am not the writer I just tell the story, we had 3 Vets on this situation, it was and is being handled the right way this time.
Denny Hammond
Humane Officer