Over 30 malnourished horses rescued

Over thirty horses have been transported to the Sandusky County Fair Grounds after being seized from an Ottawa County property.

On Friday afternoon ,Ottawa County humane officer Nancy Silva received a call that two horses were dead and three more were down at an Oak Harbor farm. When Silva arrived, she found four horses dead. By 2:00 p.m., volunteers were called to help remove the surviving horses from the property. Volunteers stayed late into the night moving the malnourished horses, and in some case carrying them onto trailers.

Robert Hensley arrived at 3:00 p.m. Friday to assist with the removal. Hensley said the horses had been standing in stalls that were full of feces ankle high. Their hooves hadn TMt been cared for and they didn TMt have access to food or water. The horses were so hungry that they had begun eating away at the 4x4 TMs lining their pins.

Silva says that they had been receiving complaints about the owner on and off for two years. Some of the complaints were about the horses getting out in the road. Silva noticed the horses getting thinner.

I offered to take the horses out of there for her, foster them and she refused. Until Friday's complaint, Silva didn TMt have any legal authority to remove the horses.

When Silva arrived with police the owner became upset, she wanted to keep them even though they were dying in front of her. Silva has been working for the Ottawa County Humane Society since the 1970 TMs and says she TMs never seen a case of horse neglect this severe.

A former employee told NBC24 that the owner didn TMt always neglect her horses. Financial troubles started the decline in care. But the owner still refused to give the horses up.

No formal charges have been brought against the owner. No information about the owner has been released; however, NBC24 has learned that the owner's name is Robin Vess of Oak Harbor.

The veterinary care for the horses is estimated to cost $10,000.

The Humane Society of Ottawa County is accepting donations at 2424 E. Sand Rd. in Port Clinton, OH. The horses are in need of grass hay, feed pans, rubber water buckets, sawdust, straw, senior foods, halters, lead ropes, blanket and grooming supplies.

Donations can also be made at the Sandusky County Fair Grounds office, Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.