DALLAS COUNTY, Iowa — The Animal Rescue League of Iowa announced on Friday that one of the horses who was rescued from a Dallas County farm earlier this month was humanely euthanized last weekend.
On Nov. 1 the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at a home regarding an animal neglect investigation. Sheriff’s deputies found 46 horses on the property in deplorable conditions and without food and water. All 46 horses were taken to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa for care.
The ARL said this ‘horse mill’ rescue turned out to be even worse than they initially imagined. One of the horses that was determined to be in the worst condition, named Bluey, received around-the clock care for nearly a week. Bluey was missing most of his teeth, which means he most likely suffered months of starvation, the ARL said. Due to the severity of his condition veterinarians decided to humanely euthanize him.
As the vet staff continued to treat the horses they discovered many of the horses were displaying genetic deformities of the legs and feet, typically caused by poor breeding practices, the ARL said. Many of the horses are also likely to be pregnant.
Linda Kilbourne, 78, has been charged with livestock neglect in connection to the case. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office said more criminal charges are pending.
When the horses were seized from Kilbourne’s property she refused to surrender the horses to the ARL once they were healed. A petition has been filed asking the court to give ownership of the horses over to the ARL, citing the neglect charge filed against Kilbourne. According to an answer to the petition filed in court, Kilbourne has denied the allegations of neglect and is requesting all seized horses be returned to her.
Kilbourne is scheduled to appear in court for an initial hearing on Nov. 29.
If you would like to help the ARL care for the other horses you can do so by donating on their website.